Source AP ©

Russian court imposes sentence on man for boosting hate crimes

A Russian man who claimed to be the author of a video on the Internet showing the brutal killings of two men from Central Asia and the Caucasus was sentenced to one year in prison.

The video, which appeared in August on several ultra-nationalist Web sites, deepened concerns about the marked rise in xenophobia, racism and hate crimes that have swept Russia in recent years.

The Prosecutor General's office said a district court in the southern region of Adygeya found Viktor Milkov guilty of spreading ethnic hatred for posting racist and nationalistic writings on the popular blogging Web site Live Journal. Prosecutors said he also posted links to the video, but did not actually post the video.

The three-minute clip showed two men kneeling in the woods in front of a Nazi flag with their arms and legs bound, and a subtitle identifies them as "colonists from Tajikistan and Dagestan." One of the men is shown being beheaded, the other shot in the head.

The video ended with two men in black masks and camouflage clothing giving Nazi salutes.

It was unclear whether authorities have made any progress in determining who made the video and, if it was authentic, who carried out the killings.

Tajikistan is a former Soviet republic in Central Asia; Dagestan, like Adygeya, is a Russian region. Both are predominantly Muslim. There are many Tajik migrant workers in Russian cities.