An alleged organizer of recent race-hate riots in downtown Moscow who is suspected of killing a Kyrgyz migrant was arrested on Friday along with three other rioters, a Moscow court announced.
Ilya Kubrakov is believed to be a ringleader of last Saturday’s riots on Manezh Square next to the Kremlin and could face life in prison over the stabbing to death of a man from Kyrgyzstan in southern Moscow. His body was found on Sunday.
Court spokesman Oleg Shassayev said all four detainees could be kept in pretrial detention until February 12, adding that if the probe into their crimes is not completed by that time, investigators could ask for their detention to be extended.
In Moscow, a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans clashed with police at central Manezh Square on Saturday. The fans were protesting police negligence over the death of Yegor Sviridov, 28, who was killed in a brawl with migrants from Russia’s North Caucasus region earlier in November.
The clash was followed on Wednesday by further disturbances as ethnic Russians and internal migrants gathered for a confrontation near a major train terminus in Moscow. Race-hate riots also occurred in St. Petersburg and other Russian cities.
President Dmitry Medvedev blamed the outbreak of race-hate violence on investigators who released suspects in the death of Sviridov. He called on Russia’s police and prosecutors to take measures to punish all those responsible for the crime.
A spate of race-hate attacks since the weekend and reports of more clashes to come have left the Russian capital on edge.