A black American beaten by a group of skinheads in a Moscow park over the weekend is a U.S. Marine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, calling the attack "repulsive."
The attack occurred Saturday afternoon in Fili Park in southwest Moscow at a busy outdoor market where compact discs and cassettes are sold.The victim was strolling with a female embassy translator, who is also black, when four skinheads attacked the man, police said.
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Olivia Hilton, citing privacy considerations, refused to confirm that the victim was a Marine, saying only that he had received the necessary medical attention.
However, the Foreign Ministry said he was a Marine in a statement cited by the ITAR-Tass news agency.
Attacks on dark-skinned foreigners have become common in Moscow. The U.S. Embassy issued a warning to Americans last month, following an attack on two young Asian women who were severely beaten in Moscow by 20 skinheads.
The embassy reissued the warning following the attack Saturday. The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed concern.
"The Foreign Ministry has pretty regularly received complaints from foreign diplomatic missions, which have drawn attention to these repulsive incidents," Foreign Ministry spokesman Valery Nesterushkin said.
Police have arrested one of the alleged attackers.