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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs