MOSCOW — Police in Moscow rounded up more than a thousand employees of a vegetable warehouse today, a day after riots on the Russian capital’s southern outskirts.
Police on Sunday arrested hundreds of suspected rioters in the district of Biryulovo after the stabbing death of an ethnic Russian man who allegedly was killed by a native of the North Caucasus, a region in southern Russia. Caucasus natives work at many vegetable markets around the Russian capital.
Today, police arrested more than 1,200 people in what was called a “pre-emptive raid” on the vegetable warehouse where the rioters believed the killer worked. Russian television showed hundreds of men handcuffed and rounded up in the warehouse’s yard.
Moscow police spokesman Andrei Galiakberov said on Russian television that they are investigating some of the detainees for possible criminal connections. Police also said that they found a car full of cash and unlicensed arms on the premises.
Tensions between nationalist Russians and North Caucasus natives have been simmering for two decades.
Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, was killed in a dispute over his girlfriend with another man as the couple returned home on Thursday. Sunday’s rioters were protesting what they called impunity for the man’s supposed killer. Police and investigators today promised to find the man and bring him to justice.
Of the hundreds suspected rioters arrested on Sunday, police kept only two in custody and fined 70 more. Dozens of police officers were injured in the Sunday riots, and five were hospitalized, police said.