Moscow police are on high alert following rumors that migrants from Russia's North Caucasus are planning a retaliation to Saturday's nationalist riots, a local police source said.
"Since yesterday, Moscow police have been on high alert over reports on the Internet that provocative acts are being prepared near the Europeysky shopping mall on Kievsky Rail Station Square," the source said.
The square was cordoned off by riot police on Wednesday and cars are being diverted from the area. Russian blog posts suggest that both migrants and nationalists are planning to gather on the square on Wednesday evening.
Violent riots broke out in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Saturday as police dispersed protests in both cities against the killing of a Moscow football fan.
Yegor Sviridov, 28, was killed last week during a brawl in northern Moscow between football fans and migrants from the North Caucasus.
About 30 people were injured in Moscow's riots, which took place on Manezh Square next to the Kremlin walls and involved some 5,000 people, mostly football fans and members of nationalist movements. The riots sparked a new wave of inter-ethnic enmity in the capital, home to hundreds of thousands of working migrants from the volatile North Caucasus region.
Several hours after Saturday's clashes, a statement entitled "Moscow divided," and allegedly signed by 10 migrants from the North Caucasus, was posted on the Internet. It called on all migrants from the North Caucasus to meet outside the shopping mall at 6.00 pm Moscow time (15:00 GMT) for a face off with "nationalists and fascists."
However, the executive director of the Chechen social and cultural Association, Khamzat Gerikhanov, told Kommersant newspaper that the statement was a pure provocation since the names of the authors were fake.
The paper said there had been reports that several busses had arrived from the North Caucasus on Monday and Tuesday carrying young men to take part in the riots.
MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti)