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On 3rd Day, Petersburg Police Disperse Anti-Migrant ‘Pogroms’

© RIA Novosti . Kirill ChulkovOn 3rd Day, Petersburg Police Disperse Anti-Migrant ‘Pogroms’
On 3rd Day, Petersburg Police Disperse Anti-Migrant ‘Pogroms’ - Sputnik International
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St. Petersburg police stopped an anti-migrant “Russian raid” late Wednesday and detained its alleged organizer, cracking down on a campaign described by participants as a “pogrom” after three days of ignoring it.

MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – St. Petersburg police stopped an anti-migrant “Russian raid” late Wednesday and detained its alleged organizer, cracking down on a campaign described by participants as a “pogrom” after three days of ignoring it.

About 20 people, many wielding baseball bats, were detained in the center of the northern Russian city ahead of a planned raid, local police said in a statement Thursday.

Most were soon released, but ultranationalist Dmitry “Mad” Yevtushenko was detained and faces hooliganism charges, which carry up to seven years in prison, BaltInfo.ru regional news website reported.

The “Russian raids” have been targeting street vendors, who are accused by the raiders of being illegal migrants without work permits.

Though the raiders denied violence at their events, speaking only about checking documents and reporting violators to the police, some media reported incidents of nationalists smashing fruit stands with baseball bats, and a video posted on newsru.com website showed the raiders hurling crates of fruit to the ground.

Raid co-organizer Nikolai Bondarik repeatedly referred to the campaign as a “pogrom” in semi-ironic messages on his Twitter page.

Though the raids began Monday, St. Petersburg police only opened a case late on Wednesday, citing unspecified reports about wrongdoing at the raids.

Fontanka.ru city news website said police were pushed into action after the nationalists almost clashed with a group of migrants during one of the raids, where only a police patrol on the site prevented a mass brawl.

Anti-migrant raids are an increasingly popular tactic with Russian nationalists. This week’s attacks were triggered by an incident at a Moscow market at the weekend, when a man from the southern Russian republic of Dagestan – whose residents are often seen as similar to foreign migrants by Russians outside the North Caucasus – smashed the skull of an on duty policeman who was attempting to detain another market worker on suspicion of sexual assault.

 

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