Moscow: Caucasus natives stabbed during anti-immigrant riots

Moscow: Caucasus natives stabbed during anti-immigrant riots

Via Washington Post:
Street melees here over the past few days, sparked by the killing of a soccer fan and fueled by nationalists' hatred of immigrants from the Caucasus, have caught the police and other authorities unprepared for an upsurge of rage that appears to reflect a larger sense of anger in Russian society.

The riots by right-wing nationalists and extremists have put political leaders on the spot: How should they go about cracking down on a movement that until now typically has been a useful right flank for those in power?

The Kremlin has spent the past decade nurturing nationalist sentiment in Russia, especially among the young. Now, hundreds and sometimes thousands of furious young men have been gathering around Moscow and other cities, shouting nationalist slogans, making fascist salutes and beating up darker-skinned people who appear to be from the Caucasus or Central Asia.

A man from Central Asia was stabbed to death in the southern part of Moscow by a group of about 15 young people Sunday night or Monday morning, police reported.

On Saturday, several thousand young men clashed with police at Manezh Square, just outside the Kremlin. Eighty were detained briefly, but riot police chased most of the crowd into the subway, where they rampaged through the cars threatening non-Russians. Three natives of the Caucasus were stabbed and had to be hospitalized, police said. On Sunday, crowds appeared at Pushkin Square and at Sokolniki Park. Web sites promised more to come.


The most recent riots began after a fan of the Spartak soccer team, Yegor Svidorov, died after being shot with rubber bullets a week ago during a fight that involved at least 10 people, police said. Four suspects, at least three of whom are from the Caucasus, were arrested.

Spartak fans blocked Leningradsky Highway last week to mourn his death, but since then they have been overtaken by rightist political groups. "

Late Monday afternoon, riot police in helmets and body armor blocked off Manezh Square. The square remained calm Monday night, the news agency Interfax reported.