Russian police detain 2,100 to prevent ethnic clash

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moscow, Dec 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian police have detained more than 2,100 protesters in and around Moscow to prevent clash between ultra-nationalists and migrants.

About 1,300 people, many of them with non-lethal weapons, knives and baseball bats were detained in Moscow. Other 800 people were detained across Moscow region, local police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeev said Saturday.

About 100 people were detained near the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VVTs) in northeastern Moscow.

“Several groups of youth were detained near the central entrance to (the park surrounding) VVTs and in close vicinity to the exhibition center. These citizens were detained in order to prevent and suppress unlawful acts,” a police source said.

The National Democratic Alliance movement held a rally in front of the Moscow’s Ostankino broadcasting center, which is located not far from VVTs. The participants of the rally protested the “incorrect” media coverage of a range of events.

Later, the protesters headed to the park nearby with a view to continue the meeting in other place. Police blocked the exits from the park and detained the rioters, most of them teenagers.

Several dozens of rioters were also detained in the southeastern city of Volgograd.

“About fifty people wearing medical masks gathered in the center of Volgograd and tried to hold an unsanctioned meeting,” a local police spokesman said.

The Russian capital saw its biggest public disturbances for almost a decade when a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans clashed with police at central Manezh Square last Saturday. The demonstrators were protesting police negligence over the death of a man who was killed in a brawl with migrants from Russia’s North Caucasus region in November.

The clash was followed Wednesday by further disturbances as ethnic Russians and internal migrants gathered for a confrontation near a major train terminus in Moscow.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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