YAKUTSK, Russia — Police in Russia’s Sakha-Yakutia region in the Far East have detained a group of local people suspected of attacking migrants from Central Asia following a series of protests sparked after a Kyrgyz national was arrested for allegedly raping a local woman.
Police in the regional capital, Yakutsk, did not tell RFE/RL on March 20 the exact number of detained suspects.
The police in Yakutsk have called on city residents to stay away from “inciting ethnic hatred.”
At least 80 buses usually driven by Central Asian migrants stopped operating on March 19 in Yakutsk, and many businesses owned and operated by migrants from Central Asia were closed in the wake of attacks against migrants.
Tensions in Yakutsk, a city 4,900 kilometers east of Moscow, began on March 17 after police said a 23-year-old Kyrgyz citizen was arrested on suspicion of abducting and raping a 36-year-old woman a day earlier.
On March 19, Yakutsk Mayor Sardana Avksentyeva said all companies that employ migrant laborers will be inspected to detect any possible illegal immigrants.