Hundreds Arrested in Moscow Anti-Migrant Riots

MOSCOW (Los Angeles Times/MCT) -
Russian police detain migrant workers during a raid at a vegetable warehouse complex in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow Monday. (REUTERS/Ivan Stolpnikov)
Russian police detain migrant workers during a raid at a vegetable warehouse complex in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow Monday. (REUTERS/Ivan Stolpnikov)

Over 20 people including six policemen were injured in ethnic riots in a southern Moscow suburb that began Sunday and continued overnight, authorities said.

Thousands of young people took to the streets in the southern Moscow suburb of Biryulyovo Sunday demanding the eviction of migrant workers from the Northern Caucuses and outside Russia. The protests came in the wake of the killing last week of a 25-year-old local resident, Yegor Shcherbakov, reportedly by an attacker with an appearance of Caucasus or Central Asian origin.

The angry Moscow mob upturned cars, broke windows in street kiosks and attempted to break into a local market run by migrants. The protesters chanted “Russia for Russians, Moscow for Muscovites” and threw stones at riot police who arrived on the scene.

“On Sunday extremist persons decided to take advantage of the situation … Many of them were drunk,” Anatoly Yakunin, a senior Moscow police official said during a urgent meeting at the Moscow police headquarters. Yakunin said 380 people were arrested overnight.

Early Monday police raided a vegetable market that protesters had tried to storm overnight, detaining about 1,200 workers and traders, RIA Novosti reported.

The riots were the largest in Moscow driven by ethnic conflict since Dec. 11, 2010, when over 5,000 people rioted in Manezhnaya Square in front of the Kremlin, angered by the death of a soccer fan killed by a man from the Northern Caucasus.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered a thorough investigation to be conducted into the death of the young man and the subsequent riots, Interfax reported.