The level of armed crime is rising in Russia. This was announced today by Sergei Monakhov, a member of the investigative committee at the Russian Interior Ministry. He said that 26,142 armed crimes were registered in 2002, an increase of 5.6% on the previous year. Most of these crimes were committed in Moscow and the Moscow, Irkutsk and Sverdlovsk Regions as well as the Stavropol and Primorsky territories.
Mr Monakhov added that 103,732 kilogrammes of explosives were seized last year. Moreover, armed crime accounted for about five thousand killings in 2002, that is 15% of all armed crime.