Sunday, May 19, 2024

Murder Rate in Russia Highest in Europe and Far Higher than Moscow Admits or Reports, ‘To Be Precise’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 16 – The number of murders per 100,000 population is far higher in Russia than it is elsewhere in Europe, Anastasiya Kokourova and Yegor Shkurko say. That is true if one relies only on official statistics, but these statistics for various reasons seriously understate just how many murders Russians are carrying out.

            The problems begin, the To Be Precise investigators say, with the law defining murder that is used by Moscow to report how many murders have taken place (

            That law defines as murder only deaths that are the result of premeditated actions. When someone dies after being beaten by another either as a result of alcohol or drug consumption or simply rage, those actions will be tried under other articles of the criminal code and not counted as murders.

            Other factors reducing the number of murders include cases when the police can’t establish what happened and coroners are not permitted to say that physical harm they uncover was caused by someone, when the acts occur within the family and the police don’t get involved, and when officials engage in outright falsification of the data to make themselves look good

            As a result. Kokourova and Shkuro say, the number of murders committed in the Russian Federation each year is many times larger than the eight to ten thousand Moscow likes to claim and reports to international bodies like the UN. Still worse, that number is rising, not falling, as officials typically claim.

            In their article, the two journalists report many intriguing statistics; but perhaps the most interesting is this: Murder rates for Russia as a whole are high, but “Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the republics of the North Caucasus are no more dangerous than European countries with the number of murders there not exceeding 2.5 per 100,000” (

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