Russian police detain protesters near Kremlin

11th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of police blocked access to a central square in the Russian capital Tuesday detaining several nationalist protesters to prevent them from gathering near the Kremlin.

Several dozen young nationalists could be observed in groups around the blockaded central Manege square but it was difficult to estimate the number of people who came to protest, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

The protesters have tried to reassemble exactly one month after tens of thousands gathered in the same square on December 11, shouting nationalist slogans and demanding justice for a fellow football fan killed in a brawl with people from Russia's Northern Caucasus region.

A young protester on Tuesday was detained after holding up a T-shirt that read, "The authorities are in a coma, the Caucasians are having fun, we must defend ourselves."

Moscow city police last month repeatedly broke up confrontations between nationalist groups and people from the North Caucasus. Dozens have been detained after each incident in the capital and the Moscow region.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union racism has increasingly become a problem while hundreds of thousands of migrants from the North Caucasus and Central Asia flooded Russian cities in search of work.

© 2011 AFP

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