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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Murder Rate Continues to Skyrocket

Moscow's murder rate more than doubled this January compared with the same month in 1992, according to police statistics.

The Russian capital saw 91 deaths in January 1993, up from 42 for the same period a year before.

"High for one month, 91 murders? It's not very high", said police spokesperson Lida Lagutkina. "We have a very big population".

By American urban standards, Lagutkina is right. Cities such as Baltimore, Washington D. C. and Los Angeles have murder rates twice as high.

Yet Moscow's data is striking for its rapid increase.

Once among the safest - as well as one of the most repressive - of international capitals, Moscow experienced a rise in its murder rate from 464 people in 1991 to 886 last year, Lagutkina said.

Across Russia, the murder rate increased throughout the perestroika years that opened up society, according to the Russian Committee on Statistics.

Last month's data for Moscow start out the year a full 20 percent higher than the average monthly murder rate recorded in 1992.

The principal reason for the increase, Lagutkina said, is related to Russia's economic instability and the price rises.