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Russian Nationalists go on Rampage in St Petersburg March

© RIA Novosti . Vadim Gernov / Go to the photo bankNikolai Bondarik. (Archive)
Nikolai Bondarik. (Archive) - Sputnik International
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Police in St. Petersburg detained at least 24 people on Sunday after a sanctioned demonstration against "crime involving foreign migrants" in a downtown area sparked violence on the city’s main street and a market area, local media reported.

MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – Police in St. Petersburg detained at least 24 people on Sunday after a sanctioned demonstration against "crime involving foreign migrants" in a downtown area sparked violence on the city’s main street and a market area, local media reported.

The trouble comes just a week after Moscow experienced its worst civil unrest in years, when rioters attacked a market area frequented by migrant workers after a local man was knifed to death by a man police later said was thought to be non-Russian.

At least 150 people took part in a sanctioned march Sunday afternoon at St. Petersburg's Mars Field, according to city police. A correspondent for the local fontanka.ru news website estimated the number involved at around 300-400.

“Eight people were held for public order offences,” the police said, mainly for lighting flares.

Speakers at the meeting issued a proclamation condemning the city governor and the local chief of police, and called for the release of a nationalist figure, Nikolai Bondarik, who was arrested recently on suspicion of attacking people of non-Slavic appearance.

Following the end of the meeting at around 4:40 p.m. local time, around 50 people, shouting slogans, headed for the city’s Nevsky Prospekt, attacking bystanders who appeared to be non-Russian. The group was broken up by riot police, according to local media reports.

Trouble also broke out at around the same time at the city’s Apraksin Dvor market area, fontanka.ru reported, quoting local witnesses. Youths threw stones and smoke bombs at market stall holders, many of whom are migrants. Some of the market workers responded to the attack by using non-lethal firearms, fontanka reported.

Riot police detained 16 people at the scene, the police said. Witnesses quoted by fontanka said some of those participating in the attack on Apraksin Dvor had attended the Mars Field demonstration.

 

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