700 arrested to stop Russian ethnic riots
15 December 2010, 20:11
Moscow - Moscow police arrested more than 700 people on Wednesday across the city centre in a bid to prevent ethnic clashes from erupting following the deadly shooting of a football fan, a spokesperson said.
"By 18:30 (15:30 GMT), we had made more than 700 arrests," Moscow city police spokesperson Vitkor Biryukov told the Interfax news agency.
He said about 400 of the arrests were made at the Kievsky train station, where police deployed more than 1 000 riot troops in anticipation of a street battle that was reportedly scheduled there for 18:00 (15:00 GMT).
"We have confiscated several air guns, knives, clubs and stun guns," Biryukov said.
He added that police patrols had been stepped up throughout the centre of the city.
Rumours of the Kievsky station standoff spread across the Russian internet following a weekend riot outside the Kremlin involving some 5 000 football fans and elements of the far right.
Gangs of Muslims were reported to have been planning a counter-rally at Kievsky and a major Russian nationalist movement called on its supporters to come armed to the site.