MOSCOW (Reuters) - Demonstrators, some chanting racist slogans, vandalized a shopping center and scuffled with police in a Moscow neighborhood on Sunday after the killing of a young man that residents blamed on a migrant from the Caucasus.
Protests over the death in the southern Biryulyovo district began peacefully until a group of young men began smashing windows in the shopping center.
The crowd grew to number several thousand and demonstrators scuffled with police when they tried to make arrests, a Reuters witness said. Pictures showed at least one policeman with minor injuries and video footage showed a car and rubbish bins overturned in the streets.
Later the crowd moved from the shopping center and overran a vegetable warehouse where, according to residents, many migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia are employed.
A video posted on Youtube showed several men chanting “White Power!” and “Russia forward!” as they were forcing their way into the shopping center. Interfax news agency quoted Moscow police as saying around 200 people were detained.
The protesters began with demands for more action from law enforcement officials after an unidentified assailant fatally stabbed the 25-year-old man who was walking home with his girlfriend on Thursday night.
Russia’s top investigative agency said it was looking into the killing.
Persistent tension between ethnic Russians and migrants and others with roots in the Caucasus and central Asia has occasionally erupted into violence in Moscow and other cities.
President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Russia needed migrant laborers in industries such as construction but - in a nod to anti-migrant sentiment - suggested their numbers could be restricted in other sectors, including trade.
Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Tom Pfeiffer