Almost 20 people died in Russia this year in racist attacks, the Sova human rights center told Interfax on Saturday.

"The attacks killed 18 people and injured no fewer than 171 in 30 regions of Russia, according to preliminary reports. Two people were threatened with murder," Sova said.

"Moscow tops the list by numbers of violent attacks (3 dead and 64 wounded) together with the Moscow region (two dead, 24 wounded) and St. Petersburg (two dead, 19 wounded). The rate was high in the Republic of Bashkortostan (19 wounded)," the human rights activists said.

Ultra-right groups mostly attacked members of youth sub-cultures (one dead, 53 wounded), natives of Central Asia (seven dead, 28 wounded), natives of the Caucasus (three dead, 14 wounded), people of "non-Slavic looks" (one dead and ten wounded) and dark-skinned people (19 wounded), Sova said.

Sova is a Russian non-governmental organization monitoring xenophobia and inter-ethnic tensions.

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