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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs