Hundreds of arrests amid anti-migrant riots in southern Moscow

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Hundreds of arrests amid anti-migrant riots in southern Moscow

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Police in Moscow say they made some 300 arrests amid rioting in the south of the city as people vented their anger after a local was murdered, allegedly by a migrant from Russia’s North Caucasus region or from Central Asia.

Bottles were thrown and there were several injuries as the security forces tried to stop the protesters from reaching a warehouse where many migrants work. Witnesses said many demonstrators were from radical nationalist groups.

Earlier, residents had gathered following the murder of Egor Shcherbakov. The 25-year-old was stabbed after a dispute over his girlfriend as the couple headed home last Thursday night.

Despite a photo of the suspect taken by a security camera, he hasn’t been identified.

Protests then turned violent as demonstrators, some chanting nationalist slogans, attacked a shopping centre and broke into the vegetable warehouse.

The violence came even though the murdered man’s girlfriend had reportedly opposed the protests, saying she did not want “inter-ethnic conflict” to be inflamed.

Across the city police have been put on alert to prevent further violence.

It is not the first time that tension between ethnic Russians and migrants from the Caucasus has spilled over into violence. In 2010 police sealed off a square near the Kremlin amid rioting following the murder of another ethnic Russian.