News / Europe

    Russia Tightens Security After Nationalist Riot Near Kremlin

    Football fans clash with riot police in central Moscow after Yegor Sviridov, 28, a dedicated fan of the Spartak Moscow football team was shot dead earlier this month, Dec 11, 2010
    Football fans clash with riot police in central Moscow after Yegor Sviridov, 28, a dedicated fan of the Spartak Moscow football team was shot dead earlier this month, Dec 11, 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio
    James Brooke

    Russian authorities closed Red Square and cordoned off the Kremlin after President Dmitry Medvedev warned race riots threaten "the stability of the state."



    Hundreds of riot police, dressed in black helmets and bullet-proof vests closed off public squares and underground rail stations around the Kremlin late Monday. Russia's president sternly warned against a repeat of last weekend's nationalist violence.

    Using the Russian word "pogrom," President Dmitry Medvedev warned Russians that incitement to ethnic or religious hatred could destabilize Russia, a multi-ethnic and multi-faith nation.

    On Monday, Russians looked in shock at the images of last weekend's violence in downtown Moscow: hundreds of young men raising their right arms in stiff-armed Nazi salutes against the red brick walls of the Kremlin; young men in black hoods attacking riot police with chunks of ice, burning flares, glass bottles and steel rods; five young men from Caucasus, blood streaming down their faces, cowering behind policemen who rescued them from nationalist attackers.

    Demonstrators chanted "Russia for Russians" and chanted "2-8-2," calling for Russia to abolish a law that makes it a crime to incite ethnic hatred.

    Far outnumbered, police arrested only 80 of the 5,000 nationalists, pushing most of them into subway stations. Once in the subway, gangs of youths ran through trains, chanting 'White Car, White car,'' beating non-Slavic riders.

    By morning, gangs had shot a shop clerk from Armenia, shot a shop assistant from Azerbaijan, fractured the skull of another man from the Caucasus, and knifed to death a man from Kyrgyzstan

    A leader of the banned group Slavic Union, Dmitry Dyomushkin, said in an interview the Kremlin should expel the heavily Muslim republics of the Caucasus from the Russian Federation. He said that labor migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia should remember that they come to Moscow as guests.

    The membership of Russian nationalist groups often overlap with football-team support groups. In the past six months, nationalists have drawn large turnouts to demonstrations protesting the murders of two fans of Moscow's Spartak football club. In each case, suspects from the Caucasus were detained, then released.

    Center for Political Technologies analyst Alexei Mukhin said that fans believe Russia's pervasive corruption extends to homicide investigations, resulting in suspects buying their way out of jail. Mukin said anger over police corruption fuels protests.

    Last week, after the latest murder, 1,000 Spartak fans blocked the main highway to Moscow's busiest airport. After this protest, one murder suspect was arrested. After the massive protest outside the Kremlin walls, police detained three more suspects.

    In recent days, thousands have turned out for nationalist protests in the cities of Rostov and St. Petersburg. In Rostov, 1,000 students were joined by paramilitary units of Cossacks, a group that carried out many pogroms against ethnic and religious minorities during the days of Czarist Russia.

    In light of this history of inter-ethnic violence, Russian Orthodox Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has called for authorities, migrant workers and native Russians to take "immediate steps" to keep football violence from becoming an "ethnic war."

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora