NOVEMBER 1, 2001
The way of the world in Moscow
Perhaps it looks like that from inside helicopters and limousines.
On the streets things are rather different. Although organized crime seems to be toning down its activities and becoming less overtly violent other problems are emerging, notably with the rise of right-wing nationalism. On Tuesday a gang of 300 extremists, armed with iron bars, attacked market traders in the south of the city, killing up to four people. The police were powerless to stop the attacks and were themselves attacked by the mob and only escaped by firing into the air to scare away the rioters.
It is not the first time that this sort of thing has happened in the southern suburbs of Moscow. In April there was a similar attack on Adolf Hitler's birthday. Extreme right-wing and nationalist movements have grown dramatically following the collapse of Communism, their anger being directed against ethnic groups.