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[ex-ussr-left] Fw: [redskin] Russia: Moscow on alert for race rampage - Guardian

----- Original Message ----- 
From: J. 
To: Redskins 
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2002 11:09 AM
Subject: [redskin] Russia: Moscow on alert for race rampage - Guardian


Moscow on alert for race rampage 
Ian Traynor in Moscow
Saturday April 20, 2002
The Guardian 

Thousands of police were put on security alert in the Russian capital yesterday to thwart racist violence this weekend, after racist thugs murdered an Afghan and skinhead gangs vowed to kill foreigners to mark Adolf Hitler's birthday today. 

They are mounting round-the-clock vigils on embassies and places frequented by foreigners The authorities fear that thousands of skinheads may go on the rampage. 

No organised rallies of neo-fascists are expected, making it more difficult to anticipate where attacks may occur, although skinhead websites have threatened metro stations, food markets and shopping areas. 

There are tens of thousands of migrants in Moscow from the southern former Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan and from central Asia, many of whom work in the city's fruit and vegetable markets, a favourite target for the thugs. 

The alert is particularly acute because of a recent upsurge in racist violence. In a Moscow metro station earlier this week thugs murdered an Afghan interpreter and beat up his colleague from Congo. Both of them worked with immigrants in Moscow. 

Foreign embassies have complained to the government about the increasing number of attacks on foreigners, and the UN refugee agency's office in the city called for "urgent" action against the thugs. 

Alleged skinhead groups have showered the embassies with emails threatening to kill foreigners this weekend. 

Nikolai Kulikov, a senior police officer, said a big football match tomorrow, a local Derby, was a likely flashpoint for violence. "This is a disgrace for the city," he said. 

The city police estimate that 1,200 youths belong to militant skinhead gangs in the city, and the interior ministry said that up to 5,000 skinheads might congregate in Moscow today. 

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he would introduce legislation to combat racist and nationalist extremism, adding: "The growth of extremism presents a serious threat to stability." 

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002 

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