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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has blamed investigators who released suspects in the death of a football fan in Moscow for recent race-hate riots.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has blamed investigators who released suspects in the death of a football fan in Moscow for recent race-hate riots.

    The Russian capital saw its biggest public disturbances for almost a decade when nationalists and football hooligans clashed with police on Saturday.

    The fans were protesting the death of Yegor Sviridov, 28, who was killed in a brawl with migrants from Russia's North Caucasus region.

    Fans criticized the release of five of the six suspects in the killing, accusing the police of being unable to bring those responsible to justice. Following Saturday's riots, Moscow police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev promised to re-arrest a number of the suspects.

    Aslan Cherkessov, 26, from the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, has been accused of the killing and placed in custody until February 6.

    Medvedev called on Russia's police and prosecutors to take measures to punish all those responsible for the crime. "All those who killed the fan should be identified and imprisoned," he said.

    "We need to deal with the investigators who released those guilty," the Russian president said. "Why did they do this? Were they afraid? Was it for money?"

    Medvedev also ordered police to identify and punish the participants of the riots. Over 1,300 people were arrested in Moscow alone and hundreds of weapons were seized. More than 30 people were hurt in the rioting.

    Violence also spread to other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, in southern Russia.

    "All such unsanctioned events must be severely suppressed," the president told a meeting on extra measures to ensure order which was held in Ryazan, to the southeast of Moscow.

    Medvedev said sparking ethnic hate was a grave crime and called for introducing harsher punishments for those responsible for extremism-related crimes. He added that the participants of the events "must be detained."

    "Violence, fights, vandalism - these are all crimes. I stress - not administrative offences but crimes. Their participants must be behind the bars. They must be imprisoned, not nurtured," he said.

    RYAZAN, December 16 (RIA Novosti)

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