Moscow police said they detained some 200 people during the mass rioting in a southern district of the city. A mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by Muslim natives of the Caucasus, blaming a migrant for the fatal stabbing of a local.
RT Moscow police said they were putting into effect an emergency plan, codenamed “Volcano,” involving sending scores of riot police to the scene of the clashes, and placing the police officers across the city on high alert.
A crowd of people broke into a warehouse in the southern district of Biryulyovo, hurling rocks, smashing up stalls and vending machines. While the police estimated the crowd at about 350 people, witnesses at the scene suggested the number of rioters could be as many as 1,000.
The violent scenes came after a similar rampage took place at a nearby shopping center, where the rioters had originally gathered. The outraged crowd demanded that the police find the killer, allegedly a Muslim man from the Caucasus or Central Asia, and clamp down on illegal migration in the area.
Residents of the Biryulyovo district in southern Moscow took to the streets following the fatal stabbing of Egor Shcherbakov, a Muscovite, earlier in the week. Late on Thursday evening, when Shcherbakov and his girlfriend were on their way home, the young couple were attacked by an unidentified man who stabbed Shcherbakov with a knife.
On Saturday a group of about 40 people gathered for a protest in the area, urging the police to find and punish the attacker – whom they said was a migrant from either the North Caucasus or Central Asia. They demanded that the district’s police chief resign, and that a local vegetable warehouse, where many migrants work, be closed.
However, the protest was followed by an unsanctioned rally on Sunday, which turned violent as hundreds of angry protesters attacked a shopping mall – attempting to set it on fire and breaking windows. A group of people among the the crowd reportedly broke into stores, ransacking them and looting goods.
Protesters demanded that all the suspected rioters being held by police should be freed, and ignored police attempts to calm the crowd. Police told the crowd to disperse, as the protest was not sanctioned by the city administration, as required by law.
Meanwhile, authorities in Moscow’s Southern Administrative district have decided to set up an operation headquarters to counter illegal migration. The body – comprised of police, federal migration service representatives and voluntary people’s guard – will gather daily. The new foundation will focus on identifying flats rented to illegal migrants, patrolling streets and organizing sweeps on reports from citizens, the prefecture’s press service told Interfax.
Moscow police also promised to pay up to one million rubles for information that would help to identify and find the murder suspect.
Here’s another video of the outraged Russians. Good for them!