MOSCOW - A RUSSIAN court handed down a life sentence and a prison term of 22 years on Thursday to two ultranationalists convicted of 15 racially motivated murders.

Moscow student Vasily Krivets, 22, was sentenced to life in prison for killing the 15 people 'on grounds of racial and national hatred', the court said on its site

The court also ordered Krivets to pay 13 million roubles (S$549,820) to the victims' families.

Clad in all black in the courtroom and wearing a T-shirt saying 'God is with us', Krivets grinned and showed no remorse when his sentence was read out, state television showed.

Violent ultranationalists often target migrant workers from Central Asia and the Caucasus. They have also attacked African and Asian students and Russian citizens who do not look Slavic.

A court spokesman told state TV that the 15 murders were carried out in the Moscow region between October 2007 and May 2008. Dmitry Ufimtsev, an unemployed 23-year-old from Volgodonsk in southern Russia, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for aiding Krivets.

2 jailed for 15 racist murders