Russian police said Tuesday they have solved the killing of a Peruvian student and the brutal beating of two others in the central city of Voronezh and detained 14 suspects. Just as the police announcement came, however, another foreign student was beaten in the city notorious for attacks on foreigners.
Voronezh police chief Alexander Dementyev said the city's police force had focused all its efforts on finding the killers of Peruvian student Enrique Arturo Angeles Hurtado.
The student died Oct. 9 after about 15 youths attacked him at a sports complex in the city, some 475 kilometers (300 miles) south of Moscow. Another Peruvian and a Spaniard were hospitalized with injuries.
Over the past six years, at least seven foreigners have been killed in apparently racially motivated attacks in Voronezh, where many foreign students attend university.
"We wanted to show the world community that our officers aren't that helpless," Dementyev said in remarks broadcast by Russia's NTV television.
Meanwhile, another foreign student at Voronezh University, Albanian Tsami Aldin, was attacked by an unknown man who beat him and tried to take his cell phone and other valuables early Tuesday. A man suspected of assaulting Aldin was detained by police, Dementyev said.
A spokesman for the Albanian Embassy in Moscow said his nation would stop sending students to Voronezh following the attack, the Interfax news agency reported.
Local prosecutor Sergei Kirmas said there was no immediate reason to believe the attacker was guided by racial motives.
Rights activists have criticized police and prosecutors for ignoring racist motives in attacks by skinheads and other extremists in Voronezh and elsewhere in Russia and allowing attackers to walk away largely unpunished.
Russian law calls for a much milder punishment for hooliganism as opposed to racially motivated crimes.
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Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign