MOSCOW – Russian police on Monday swept through a vegetable warehouse earlier targeted by rioters, rounding up more than 1,000 migrant workers, checking their documents and loading them onto waiting vans to be investigated for criminal activity.
The raid came the day after demonstrators angry over the stabbing death of an ethnic Russian man broke into a covered market and descended on the warehouse where they believed the killer was working, throwing bottles and trash, smashing windows and turning over cars. Police detained hundreds of rioters.
Men who worked at the warehouse in Biryulyovo, a working-class neighborhood on the southern outskirts of Moscow, were marched outside by police. Dozens of people gathered at the market nearby to pledge their support to the rioters, venting their anger at the migrants from the predominantly Muslim Caucasus region, whom many Russians accuse of pushing up the crime rate and taking badly needed jobs.
Andrei Galiakberov, spokesman for the Moscow police, described the roundup of some 1,200 people as part of a “pre-emptive raid.”