Kazakh Student Stabbed to Death

A Kazakh student was stabbed to death at a bus stop in southwest Moscow in what authorities say may have been a hate crime.

Yerlan Aitymov, 18, was stabbed in the stomach by an unidentified assailant Sunday evening at the intersection of Ulitsa Butlerova and Ulitsa Akademika Volgina, near the Kaluzhskaya metro station, authorities said.

Aitymov, a first-year student at the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, lived in a dormitory near the university, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Monday. He died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital, the committee said.

Investigative Committee officials could not be reached for comment Monday. But a law enforcement source told RIA-Novosti that the attack happened at around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that Aitymov's murder was racially motivated, RIA-Novosti cited the source as saying.

"Detectives have no direct evidence that skinheads are responsible for the murder," the source told RIA-Novosti. "At the same time, police officers note that southwestern and southern Moscow see the most attacks on natives of the Caucasus and Central Asia."

Kazakh Embassy spokesman Sultan Zhanaidarov said he would not comment on the possibility that Aitymov was killed in a hate crime until the investigation is completed.

No suspects in the crime had been detained as of Monday evening.

The Kazakh government has contacted the Foreign Ministry and demanded "maximum cooperation" in solving the crime, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashikbayev told reporters Monday in Astana, Interfax reported.

At least 85 people have been killed and 367 injured in hate crimes so far this year in Russia, according to the Sova Center think tank, a nongovernmental organization that tracks racist violence in the country.

Last week, an obscure group calling itself the Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists claimed responsibility for the murder and decapitation of a Tajik worker earlier this month.

The group e-mailed a photo of the victim's severed head resting on a wooden chopping block as evidence of their role in the crime, said Galina Kozhevnikova, deputy head the Sova Center.

No suspects have been detained in that crime.