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Nationalist rallies could lead to collapse of Russia - opposition leader

Chaotic Rally in Front of Kremlin with Flares Held HighMoscow, 12 December: The cause of the unrest which took place on Manezhnaya Ploshchad (Square, in central Moscow by the Kremlin) on Saturday (11 December) was the corruption and inaction of the law-enforcement agencies, leader of the opposition Solidarity movement Boris Nemtsov has told journalists.

"What happened was not just a conflict, it was caused by the corruption and inaction of the law-enforcement agencies. The football fans were quite fairly demanding that the killers of their friend be punished, however the authorities showed weakness here," he said.

He also expressed concern that such rallies organized by aggressive nationalists could result in the collapse of the country.

"We are a multi-ethnic country and incidents like the one which took place yesterday pose a threat to the unity of the Russian Federation. This was an interethnic conflict, and it poses a threat of the collapse of the country," he said.

(Passage omitted: background on rally organized to commemorate killed Spartak Moscow fan on 11 December, which spilled over into unrest and clashes with the police; fans chanted nationalist slogans and 66 people were detained by the police, before being subsequently released)


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