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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5 Convicted in Deadly Tsaritsyno Rampage

MTPolyakov, left, Rusakov and Volkov, far right, listening to the verdict Wednesday.
After a four-month trial, the Moscow City Court on Wednesday convicted five young men of participating in a skinhead rampage in the Tsaritsyno market last year that killed three people and injured more than 30.

Moscow student Sergei Volkov, 20, was found guilty of organizing the Oct. 30, 2001, rampage and sentenced to nine years in prison. Three other defendants - Vladimir Trubin, 23, a manager; Sergei Polyakov, 18, a vocational student; and Valery Rusakov, a shaven-headed unemployed 18-year-old- were found guilty of participating in the riot and beating dark-skinned traders and passers-by. The court gave each of them three years in prison.

The fifth defendant, 21-year-old Moscow student Sergei Klemanov, received a suspended sentence of four years. The court found him guilty of helping plot the riot but let him off with a lighter sentence because he cooperated with investigators, Judge Pyotr Shtunder said.

According to the verdict, which took Shtunder two hours to read, Volkov bought 150 steel bars at the Kashirsky Dvor construction materials market the day before the riot. Klemanov delivered them to Tsaritsyno Park and hid them there. He did not take part in the rampage.

Trubin, Polyakov and Rusakov arrived at Tsaritsyno in the evening on Oct. 30 and, together with a crowd of about 150 young men, destroyed stalls and beat traders and passers-by with non-Slavic appearances, Shtunder said. The rampage continued inside the metro and at the nearby Sevastopol hotel, which is home to migrants from the Caucasus region and Central Asia. The attackers chanted slogans such as "Moscow for Russians" and "Beat the 'Darkies,'" the judge said.

An Azeri, a Tajik and an Indian died after being beaten.

Polyakov was detained on the spot, while the other four were picked several days later.

Polyakov, a stocky and brooding young man, has the emblem of the SS elite Nazi troops tattooed behind his left ear.

Volkov and Rusakov maintained their innocence during the court proceedings, while the others partially admitted their guilt.

None of the riot victims showed up for the sentencing Wednesday. Four of the defendants waited for the verdict inside the steel defendants' cage, surrounded by police officers and court guards.

Klemanov sat at a table outside the cage, beside his mother and five defense lawyers. The mothers of Polyakov, Rusakov and Volkov stood near the cage.

The courtroom was packed with about three dozen relatives and friends of the defendants.

Trubin's mother and father, both looking glum, stood among the spectators and scribbled notes on scraps of paper throughout the hearing. Trubin's teenage sister kept her face turned to the wall.

The caged defendants smiled and signaled friends in the courtroom as the judge went through a mind-numbing list of injuries that had been inflicted on men, women and children during the skinhead rampage.

He said Rusakov was an active member of a skinhead movement.

Rusakov had pleaded not guilty, saying he was with his girlfriend the evening of the riot. However, an Azeri woman testified at the trial that Rusakov, wielding a steel bar, had pounced on her and her granddaughter.

The court ordered the defendants to pay 15,000 rubles ($480) in compensation to the woman and 38,000 rubles ($1,200) in damages to a Georgian cafe and a small company whose premises were destroyed during the riot.

The judge said other victims of the attack could file lawsuits seeking damages.

Several girls began sobbing in the courtroom after the verdict was read. The parents of most of the defendants showed little emotion.

Klemanov's mother was visibly pleased with the suspended sentence and said she would not appeal.

The parents and defense lawyers of the other defendants said they would appeal. "The charges against Volkov are based only on Klemanov's testimony. Even if Volkov bought the steel bars, there is no evidence that he distributed them and participated in the beatings," said Volkov's lawyer, Vladimir Vymenits.

In his court testimony, Volkov only acknowledged being a witness to the riot.

The defendants have 10 days to appeal.