Russia is World's Second after South African Republic as to Number of Contract Killings

According to the statement made today at a press conference by Yuri Lekanov, the head of the Criminology Department of the Russian Federation's General Attorney's Office, Russia holds the second place in the world, after the South African Republic, as concerns the number of contract killings.

According to the quoted data, in Russia, 34.4 contract killings per every 1,000 of residents are committed annually, while in Japan, for instance, the number is just 0.7 killings per 1,000 residents. Mr. Lekanov said the number of such crimes had been constantly growing since the early 1990s, 90% of all killings being financially motivated.

Mr. Lekanov also said that in 2001, in Russia, the number of first-degree murders and attempted murders had increased by 5.5% on the year amounting to a total of 33,500. The number of serious deliberate bodily harm cases increased by 12% on the year, amounting to a total of nearly 56,000. The number of criminal cases connected with kidnapping increased by nearly 10% on the year, amounting to nearly 1,500. What was the worst, Mr. Lekanov admitted that the number of solved aggravated crimes was going down. In 2001, in Russia, 7,762 first-degree murders and attempted murders remained unsolved.

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