Over 1,000 arrested in Moscow and the region
“Today, police prevented several attempts of unsanctioned rallies on the territory of the Moscow region, including in the towns of Ramenskoye, Pushkino, Voskresensk and Chekhov,” Moscow region police spokesperson Evgeny Gildeev told RIA Novosti news agency.
In order to maintain order, 808 people have been detained, Gildeev added.
Some of those detained had objects that could have been used to inflict bodily harm. He called on all Moscow region’s residents to be on alert and not to fall for provocations.
In its turn, Moscow saw about 500 detentions on Saturday. Arrests occurred in different parts of Moscow and police confiscated four pistols, several knives and gas sprays from those detained.
A considerable number of participants of an unsanctioned march in Ostankino district were teenagers, Moscow police information chief Victor Biryukov told RIA Novosti.
According to Biryukov, many of the detained teenagers were unable to explain the reason why they were taking part in the rally. Their parents have been invited to take them home from the police station.
He added that as of 7 p.m. Moscow time the situation in Moscow is “calm” and wished everybody a good Sunday.
Altogether, more than 3,000 people were detained across the capital in the past three days to prevent ethnic clashes.
President Dmitry Medvedev denounced the violence and urged police not to hesitate to use force to quell hate riots.
“Clashes, fighting and vandalism are not just administrative violations but crimes, and those who commit these crimes should be locked up rather than just told off,” he said.
“The police should be using their legal authority to prevent extremism and incitement of ethnic hatred. What happened in Moscow and in some other Russian cities has shown that order requires very efficient management,” he added.
The latest developments follow a massive rally that turned violent on Manezhnaya Square in the center of Moscow last Saturday.
What started as a gathering to mark the death of a football fan, killed in a fight with ethnic North Caucasians, soon turned into a nationalist riot with ethnic minorities and police being attacked.
Later on Wednesday, over 1,000 people gathered on Kiev Square in Moscow. The huge shopping mall “Evropeysky”, located on the square, was closed due to the threat of violence. From 800 to 1300 people were arrested across Moscow on that day.
By now, police had arrested a man suspected of leading the rally on Manezhnaya Square. He is also suspected of killing a migrant from Kyrgyzstan.