Nearly 400 people were arrested in Moscow this weekend during a race riot stemming from a Russian national's murder the mob had pinned on a migrant. Crowds chanted "Russia for Russians" and "white power" as they tore through the city on the hunt for the suspected killer.
Al Jazeera reports that rioters tore apart shops, attacked security guards, and threw hammers and bottles at police. At one point hundreds of youth stormed a vegetable market staffed largely by migrants, where the murderer was thought to be hiding. No suspect was found, but the rioters smashed the market's windows, destroyed carts, and overturned cars. Today, Russian police descended on the market and rounded up about 1,000 workers in order to check their legal documents and investigate them for criminal activity.
The killer everyone is seeking is wanted in the stabbing death of a 25-year-old named Yegor Shcherbakov, who was murdered in front of his fiancée last week. The killer's identity is unknown, but surveillance camera footage reportedly suggests he could be Caucasian or Central Asian, which adds fuel to a fire that's been burning in Russia for years now.
In January 2011, Alexey Kovalev wrote for the Guardian:
Several of my friends have been mugged, stabbed, shot at and beaten in Moscow in the last few months. In every single case, the perpetrators were groups of young men from various Caucasian republics, predominantly Dagestan, and in most cases they were released from the station without even a warning. Most Caucasian republics have their "special representatives" in other regions of Russia ready to help their compatriots in any kind of trouble, which in most cases means pulling them out of a police station. Dmitry Sokolov-Mitrich, a journalist from the Izvestia paper, argues that these special representatives' involvement prevents proper integration of Caucasian youth into Russian society and creates a "culture of impunity."
BuzzFeed translates this sign as reading: "YET ANOTHER CAUCASIAN KILLED A RUSSIAN GUY, Biryulevo Resident EGOR SHCHERBAKOV. COME TO THE PEOPLE’S MEETING: October 13, 16:00. Today they killed Egor - who’ll they kill tomorrow?"
[Image via AP]