Russia detains over 150 people in anticipation of riotsDecember 16th, 2010 - 12:18 am ICT by IANS
Moscow, Dec 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Police have detained more than 150 people Wednesday at a major Moscow train station in anticipation of a new wave of nationalist rioting, an official said. “Over 150 people have been detained. Police seized several traumatic guns, knives and electric shockers. All those detained were taken to the nearest police station for further investigation,” police spokesman Viktor Biryukov said.
He said the situation in Moscow was calm and controlled by the police forces. “Police together with military staff are patrolling the city’s central streets, enhanced squads are also on duty on the squares near the railway stations,” he said.
Moscow police are on high alert over reports on the internet that provocative acts are being prepared near the Europeysky shopping mall near Kievsky Railway Station Square.
The square was cordoned off by riot police Wednesday and cars are being diverted from the area. Russian blog posts suggest that both migrants and nationalists were planning to gather on the square Wednesday evening.
Violent riots broke out in Moscow and St. Petersburg Saturday as police dispersed protests in both cities against the killing of a Moscow football fan.
Yegor Sviridov, 28, was killed last week during a brawl in northern Moscow between football fans and migrants from the North Caucasus.
About 30 people were injured in Moscow’s riots, which took place on Manezh Square next to the Kremlin walls and involved some 5,000 people, mostly football fans and members of nationalist movements.
The riots sparked a new wave of inter-ethnic enmity in the capital, home to hundreds of thousands of working migrants from the volatile North Caucasus region.
Russian prosecutors blamed an investigator who released the suspects into the death of Sviridov. Six suspects were detained by police after the brawl, but five of them were later released.
This drew criticism from the public and fans, who accused the police of the inability to bring those responsible to justice.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed police Monday to punish the perpetrators of a recent anti-ethnic riot in the capital, which he called a threat to national security.
Four suspects have so far been taken into custody facing possible murder charges in the Sviridov case.
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Tags: central streets, enmity, football fan, football fans, kremlin walls, military staff, moscow and st petersburg, moscow police, moscow train, nationalist movements, north caucasus region, police forces, police spokesman, railway station square, railway stations, ria novosti, riot police, russian prosecutors, sviridov, violent riots