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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbek Man Killed as Racial Attacks Climb

An Uzbek man has been stabbed to death in southwestern Moscow, the fourth fatal attack on dark-skinned people in the city in the past five days.

A group of assailants attacked Khurishid Khudaikulov with knives at around 9:30 p.m. Monday on Ulitsa Miklukho-Maklaya, near the Konkovo metro station, a law enforcement source said, Interfax reported.

Khudaikulov, 26, worked as a street sweeper and a gypsy-cab driver and was the father of small children, the source told Interfax.

Khudaikulov died at the scene from multiple stab wounds, the source said.

Mikhail Ionkin, spokesman for the Moscow branch of the Investigative Committee, confirmed the attack but declined to give further details. Authorities are investigating whether this was a hate crime but are also considering other possible motives, Ionkin said.

An Uzbek Embassy spokesman confirmed the identity of the victim and said the embassy was in contact with local authorities. He declined further comment.

Khudaikulov was the fourth dark-skinned man to be murdered in Moscow in the last five days.

A 34-year-old native of Kabardino-Balkaria was stabbed to death in northwestern Moscow Sunday. A mobile phone and a wallet with 40,000 rubles were found in his jacket, suggesting robbery was not a motive, Interfax reported.

On Saturday, a group of young men armed with knives attacked two Kyrgyz natives near the Tekstilshchiki metro station in southeastern Moscow, killing one and critically injuring the other.

A Tajik citizen was stabbed to death and a teenage boy was knifed in separate attacks late Thursday.

Twenty-three people have been killed and more than 50 injured in hate crimes nationwide since the beginning of the year, Galina Kozhevnikova, head of the Sova Center, which tracks hate crimes, said Tuesday. Fourteen of the murders occurred in Moscow, she said.

A total of 67 people were killed and more than 550 injured nationwide in hate crimes last year, according to Sova Center statistics.

"We have these poor people coming to Russia in search of a better life -- to work, and to provide for their families. Instead of thanking them for providing the labor force in sectors that Muscovites wouldn't dream of occupying, we are cutting them up, stabbing them to death," said Soyun Sadykov, who heads Azerross, a group representing Azeri citizens living in Russia.

Sadykov was one of several heads of diaspora groups who met with Deputy Mayor Valery Vinogradov on Monday to address the spate of attacks.

Sadykov said he proposed rallying thousands of migrants from former Soviet republics on Tverskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow.

"We will not stand for this," Sadykov said.

Vinogradov and other City Hall officials could not be reached for comment.