Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Moscow

Moscow police said Saturday they have detained over 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 July 2020

Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Moscow

  • The clashes between members of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Russian capital follow an outbreak of hostilities on the border between the two South Caucasus neighbors earlier this month
  • In a series of clashes across Moscow that followed, Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in fights and attacked each other’s shops and restaurants

MOSCOW: Azerbaijanis and Armenians have engaged in a series of fights and violent rampages in Moscow, venting their anger over recent cross-border clashes between the two ex-Soviet nations.
Moscow police said Saturday they have detained over 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances. In St. Petersburg, police detained dozens Saturday in a bid to prevent another big fight between Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
The clashes between members of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Russian capital follow an outbreak of hostilities on the border between the two South Caucasus neighbors earlier this month. Several days of cross-border shelling left about 20 people dead.
Russian news reports said the spate of violent incidents began when groups of Azerbaijanis beat up Armenians in Moscow early Friday and later assailed Armenian-owned stores.
In a series of clashes across Moscow that followed, Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in fights and attacked each other’s shops and restaurants.
Calls for restraint from Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats and other officials didn’t seem to have any effect and the brawls have continued.
Armenians’ Union in Russia said that officials from Russia’s Federal Security Service, the top KGB successor agency, held a meeting Friday with representatives of the Armenian community to discuss the violent clashes and promised that the instigators of violence would be punished.
The two Caucasus neighbors have been locked for decades in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. International efforts to settle the conflict have stalled, and clashes have been frequent.
Russia has maintained close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and has been part of the so-called Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe alongside the US and France, which has tried to mediate a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


'It's good to see you:' Obama stumps in Pennsylvania for Biden campaign

Updated 20 min 23 sec ago

'It's good to see you:' Obama stumps in Pennsylvania for Biden campaign

  • Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail this week fills a gap left by Biden
  • More than 41 million ballots have been cast both via mail and in person

PHILADELPHIA: Former President Barack Obama made his first appearance on the campaign trail on Wednesday for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who is locked in a tight race with President Donald Trump in crucial states with just 13 days to go in the campaign.
Obama, one of the Democratic Party’s biggest stars and a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, joined a roundtable discussion with Philadelphia Black male politicians and community and religious leaders before a 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) outdoor drive-in rally to urge supporters to vote early for Biden and other Democratic candidates.
“It’s good to see you,” Obama said, as he entered to applause from the 15 guests.
Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail this week fills a gap left by Biden, who has stayed at home in Delaware since Monday for meetings and preparation ahead of this week’s debate with Trump in Nashville, Tennessee. Biden was Obama’s vice president for eight years.
Americans are voting early at a record pace this year, with more than 41 million ballots cast both via mail and in person ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3, on concerns about the coronavirus and to make sure their votes are counted.
Trump will head to North Carolina, another battleground state where opinion polls show a tight race, for a rally on Wednesday evening.
The last days of campaigning are taking place amid a surge in new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in battleground states, including North Carolina and Pennsylvania but also Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.
Pennsylvania has averaged 1,500 new cases a day over the past week, a level it has not seen since April, according to a Reuters analysis. North Carolina is averaging 2,000 new cases a day over the past week, its highest level ever.
Polling shows a majority of voters are disappointed in the way Trump has handled the pandemic, which he has repeatedly said would disappear on its own.
On a call organized by the Biden campaign and Texas Democrats on Wednesday, several Texas Republicans urged fellow conservatives to vote for Biden, citing the coronavirus crisis as well as Biden’s character.
“This is not a decision I took lightly. I love the GOP, and I love most GOP officials. But I love my country more,” said Jacob Monty, a Republican immigration lawyer who resigned from Trump’s national Hispanic advisory council in 2016.

Pennsylvania in the spotlight
Biden and Trump are scheduled to meet in their second and final debate on Thursday night, giving the Republican an opportunity to change the trajectory of a race that Biden is leading in national polls.
Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, has warned staff and supporters she sees a far closer race in the 17 states the campaign considers battlegrounds than is suggested by the national polls showing he has a wide lead.
Biden believes he must win his birth state of Pennsylvania, which Democrats narrowly lost to Trump in 2016, and has visited it more than any other state during the campaign.
Trump has gained ground in Pennsylvania, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, which showed the challenger leading by 49% to 45%, slightly narrower than a week earlier.
“If we win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing,” Trump said on Tuesday at a rally in Erie, in the state’s northwestern corner.
The record early vote so far represents about 30% of the total ballots cast in 2016, according to the University of Florida’s US Elections Project.
Opinion polls and voting returns indicate that many of those early voters typically do not participate in elections but are coming off the sidelines this year to back Biden — or vote out Trump.
Trump, who has resumed a crowded schedule of rallies since recovering from his recent bout with COVID-19, will appear on Wednesday night at an airport rally in Gastonia, North Carolina.
Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, is also in North Carolina to mobilize voters in Asheville and Charlotte.