Russia Responds to Anti-Migrant Riots by Arresting Migrants


World

There was no easy way for the mayor of Moscow to respond to this weekend’s race riots. On Sunday night, a violent mob clashed with police in the south of the city, hurling bottles, destroying property and screaming for a purge of minorities from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Their leaders claimed it was revenge for the unsolved murder last week of a Russian man at the hands of a dark-skinned migrant worker. But while Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was quick to condemn the tactics of the mob, he found it hard to distance himself from its logic. Just this summer, during the city’s mayoral race, Sobyanin was the one who brought xenophobia into the political mainstream. Now he was forced to reap what he’d sown.

So his reaction to the violence, bizarre as it seems, was understandable on Monday morning, when he briefed President Vladimir Putin on the incident. Instead…

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