MOSCOW, October 15 (Itar-Tass World Service). — Last Sunday’s rioting in Moscow’s Biryulyovo neighborhood remains headline news in Tuesday’s dailies. The unrest followed last week’s murder of a local resident and an outbreak of popular anger over the authorities’ migration policies.
Public unrest and rioting are becoming a routine affair in Russia due to the unsettled problem of ethnic crimes, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily says.
People feel unprotected and vulnerable in the face of an unfair social system and corruption. The daily recalls that just days before the Biryulyovo unrest President Vladimir Putin had declared there were no plans for introducing visas for the citizens of other CIS member-states. He also added a couple of phrases to the effect the inter-ethnic problems should be settled by some other means, for instance, through assistance to migrants in adapting themselves to the Russian realities.
Last Sunday’s unrest was fresh evidence the authorities are too late with their attempts to address the problem “therapeutically,” as medical people would say. Urgent surgery was required. Police had to act fast and tough to stop the unrest.
Levada Centre pollster Head, Lev Gudkov, is quoted by the daily as saying that his centre has been warning for the past five years society stands on the brink of ethnic unrest, and xenophobia and internal aggression is mounting. “The people’s feeling of vulnerability is to blame. It stems from the unfair social system and corruption. The people are certain that the law enforcement agencies do not protect them,” Gudkov said.
The president of the Political Technologies Centre, Igor Bunin, warns that Russia should brace for many other local outbursts caused by social tensions. “The neighborhood communities are still there, and it is very easy to mobilize them, if real nationalists join the process. And there is no way of escaping corruption,” he said.
Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin briefed the head of state on the latest developments. He said a special crisis management centre had been set up on the basis of Moscow’s Southern Administrative District, says the government-published daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta. The centre is empowered to take action to settle the situation and render assistance to the law enforcement agencies.
Moscow’s Muslims on Tuesday are marking Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice, known in Russia by the name of Kurban Bayram). In the wake of the Biryulyovo unrest a force of 4,000 police has been commissioned to maintain law and order during the holiday, says the Kommersant daily. The Moscow police office says this reinforcement is nothing out of the ordinary. In the meantime, the nationalists are planning to stage a counter-demonstration. On Monday evening some calls for joining the Our Response to Kurban Bayram demonstration appeared on a number of nationalist websites and communities in the Vkontakte social network.
As the deputy chairman of the Council of Russia’s Muftis, Rushan Abbyasov, has told the daily Kommersant the Muslim community has decided to use the services of volunteers in order to prevent provocations. “We shall be guarded by law enforcement agencies. Volunteers will be used, too. We do feel the fear there may be provocations, but we still have the hope that everything will end peacefully,” he said. However, the Federation of Migrants of Russia on Monday called upon all migrants to refrain from using public transport on Tuesday evening.