Moscow police detain migrants following ethnic unrest

Police in Moscow detained 1,200 migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus in a raid Monday on a produce warehouse, following anti-migrant rioting triggered by the murder of an ethnic Russian man.

The raid took place in the Biryulovo district on the Russian capital’s southern outskirts, at the fruit and vegetable storage facility where rioters believed the killer, allegedly a migrant from Russia’s North Caucasus region, worked.

On Sunday, hundreds of people were arrested in the district after a protest against last Thursday’s killing of 25-year-old Yegor Shcherbakov turned violent, with protesters attacking a local shopping center, overturning cars and clashing with police. Most of those arrested were released hours later.

Protesters accused the authorities of not doing enough to investigate the murder. Police and investigators have promised to find the killer, who remains at large.

Tensions have simmered for years in Russia between ethnic Russians and migrants, many of whom are Muslims from Russia’s North Caucasus region, Azerbaijan and the countries of former Soviet Central Asia.

In December 2010, thousands of football fans and members of far-right groups clashed with riot police in central Moscow during a rally in memory of a fan killed in a fight, allegedly by natives of the North Caucasus. Rioters also attacked passers-by who appeared to be of non-Slavic origin.