Memorials for slain soccer fan turn violent in Russia
December 11th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

Memorials for slain soccer fan turn violent in Russia

Rioting broke out in Russia's two largest cities Saturday as soccer fans protested the death of a man in ethnically charged clashes earlier in the week.

Yegor Sviridov, 28, was killed during a huge brawl in northern Moscow between football fans and migrants from the North Caucasus region. A suspect is in custody, RIA Novosti reported.

Thousands of fans - commonly called "football hooligans" in the Russian media - turned out for a memorial Saturday at Moscow's Red Square. Violence and fires soon erupted again, and hundreds of riot police used shields, truncheons and gas to try to disperse the crowd. Video on the Russia 24 network showed helmeted police clubbing protesters and dragging them away.

Similar clashes broke out in St. Petersburg, RIA Novosti reported. Nationalists and members of the outlawed National Bolshevik Party were reportedly involved, but media said most of those present are "ordinary fans," according to the news agency.

A police spokesperson denied that any serious incidents had occurred in St. Petersburg.

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Filed under: Russia • Soccer • Sports • World
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