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Ethnic Tensions Flare in Moscow


The murder of a 25 year-old Russian national last Thursday led to a violent riot in Moscow on Sunday. After a media outlet reported that the suspect in the murder was of “non-Slavic appearance”, Muscovites gathered to protest, attacking a vegetable warehouse that employs large numbers of illegal migrant workers, most of them Muslims from the Caucasus. Authorities detained almost 400 of the rioters, but most appear to have been released without charges being pressed.

Then on Monday, Russian police raided the same warehouse and detained up to 1,200 of the migrant workers. The BBC:

It is unclear what charges, if any, those detained in Monday’s raid against migrants in the vegetable warehouse would face, RIA Novosti reported. Police were quoted as saying that they were investigating “involvement in criminal activity”, without elaborating.

An economically insecure populace fearing a rising Islamic population rampages in the capital, prompting a government crackdown that targets the group being victimized by the mob: this is the face of Russian decline. Keep things like this in mind when next you read stories about Putin’s resurgent Russia.

[Russian ultra-nationalists shout slogans during a protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Photo courtesy Getty Images.]

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  • jeburke

    I dunno. It’s a nasty business, to be sure, but I doubt there is any relationship historically between internal repression of disliked minorities and economic or cultural decline. And of course, it’s resurgent Russian nationalism that propels Putin’s political success and undergirds his assertive foreign policy. Mead may well have it backwards.

    • JDogg Snook

      Yeah, I don’t see how they draw their conclusion here

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