Police have said they do not rule out that extreme nationalist groups may use a march by thousands of football fans in Moscow on Saturday to organize a “provocation.”
The unsanctioned march is in memory of a well-known Spartak Moscow supporter, and member of an organized hooligan group, who was killed during a recent mass brawl in the north of the capital between football fans and internal migrants from Russia’s North Caucasus.
Yegor Sviridov, 28, was killed by four shots from a rubber-bullet pistol. Police have already detained a suspect from the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkar.
The march comes just days after around 1,000 Spartak fans blocked a busy road in north Moscow to protest Sviridov’s death.
Some four thousand people, including supporters of other Moscow sides, are expected to take part in the march, and organizers says nationalist figurehead Dmitry Demushkin, the leader of the ultra-right outlawed Slavyansky Soyuz (Slavic Union) movement, will also participate.
The championat.ru website said early on Saturday that over 1,000 people had already gathered near the Dynamo Moscow stadium in the north-west of the capital.
“If there are any attempts to organize a provocation, police officers will act according to the law and, if necessary, use force,” a police spokesperson said.
MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti)
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.