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Rampage in Moscow market

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Rampage in Moscow market
November 01, 2001 01:37PM
BBC News
Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 15:12 GMT

Youths on rampage in Moscow market
By Stephen Dalziel in Moscow

Two vendors have been killed and dozen injured after gangs rampaged through several Moscow markets late on Tuesday.

An estimated 300 skinheads smashed up market stalls and attacked anyone who appeared to be from the Caucasus region.

There has been an increase in such attacks since Russian troops went back into the Caucasus republic of Chechnya in 1999.

Muscovites have long depended on traders from the Caucasus for much of their food. The bitter irony is that, since the start of the first Chechen War in 1994, very few of the traders are actually from Chechnya. They come to Moscow from the neighbouring Stavropol region, or the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. But such distinctions matter little to the skinheads who attacked three Moscow bazaars on Tuesday.

They ran through the markets wielding iron bars and chanting racist slogans.
Many of them wore the swastika-like insignia of the extreme right-wing
movement Russian National Unity. When police arrived and fired shots in the air, many of the rioters disappeared into the metro.

The riot was the second of its kind this year. In April, right-wing youths
smashed up another market in southern Moscow on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler.

People of Caucasian origin often claim that they are not protected by the
authorities. It is common to see darker skinned people being stopped by the
police in Moscow and having their documents checked.
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