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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thinking of traveling to Moscow? Don't forget to pack your bullet-proof vest!

You already know, if you are a faithful La Russophobe reader, that Russia has the fifth-highest murder rate in the world, behind only Columbia, South Africa, Jamaica and Venezuela.

Now the Moscow Times tells us that things are getting even worse:

However you look at it, you're more likely to be murdered in Moscow now than a year ago. On Thursday, Interior Ministry officials announced that "more than 1,000" people had been murdered so far in 2006. In 2005, 1,018 killings were registered. That means one of two things: Either more people have already been killed this year than last year, or Moscow is on track to surpass last year's figure. At a murder rate of nearly three people daily, at least 43 more people can expect to be killed before year's end, topping last year's figure. Oddly, Moscow's rising murder trend does not jibe with the national murder rate, which has dropped 10 percent in the past four years, said Andrei Kucheryavy, acting head of the ministry's crime investigation department. In 2006, there have been more than 23,000 murders in the country, Kucheryavy said, with 3,655 of those still unsolved. Kucheryavy declined to give homicide figures for other years. Kucheryavy and Alexander Kshevitsky, deputy head of the crime investigation department's Bureau No. 1, spoke at a news conference Thursday at an Interfax office in central Moscow. Officials said Moscow was one of the most murder-plagued cities in the country — they refused to say which city has the most killings — and maintains a higher murder rate than New York or London.

There have been 551 murders in New York this year, according to the New York City Police Department's web site. From October 2005 through October 2006, there were 196 in London, according to the London Metropolitan Police. Possibly compounding that danger is a rise in the number of serial killings. In 1995, there were 139 serial murders nationwide, Kshevitsky said. That figure skyrocketed to 241 in 2000, and more than doubled in 2004, hitting 519. It is unclear what the precise definition of a "serial murderer" is. Most of the serial murderers who killed from 1995 to 2004, Kshevitsky said, took more than five lives. Kshevitsky indicated that the rise might not necessarily represent a jump in serial killings but that police, detectives and prosecutors have simply become better at identifying them. "The most challenging part about our work is establishing that two killings are committed by one person," Kshevitsky said.
The country's highest-profile serial killings took place from 1992 to 2005, during which time the so-called Bittsevsky Maniac killed dozens of people in Moscow's Bittsevsky Park.
Alexander Pichushkin of Moscow, in his early 30s, was detained in June in connection with 49 murders during that time, but police say the suspect has actually confessed to 62.

Russian officials admit that there have already been twice as many murders in Moscow this year as there were in New York City and five times more than there were in London. And this is with a proud KGB spy ruling the country! Russians have sacrificed all their civil liberties for the hope that "President" Putin would bring law and order to the country, and in fact the exact opposite has occurred, especially in the capital city. Crime is out of control AND civil liberties are gone; it short, it's the worst of all possible worlds.

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