A Russian court on Monday sentenced three young men to between 12 and 18 months of internal exile for a racially motivated beating of a prominent cultural figure from the North Caucasus region, a court official said.

The Moscow Izmailovsky court found the three men guilty of causing bodily harm to Zaur Tutov, a singer who also serves as culture minister in his native Kabardino-Balkariya republic in southern Russia, out of ethnic hatred, a court official said.

As a result of the April 1 attack Tutov was hospitalized with a broken cheekbone, concussion and bruises, Russian media reported. He said the assailants shouted "Russia is for Russians! Get out!"

Russia has seen an increase in hate crimes against dark-skinned foreigners, Jews and immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus. This year, 39 people have been killed in apparent hate crimes and a further 308 attacked, according to the Sova rights center.

A sentence of internal exile requires a person to live in a remote settlement.