Interethnic situation in central Russia tense – interior minister

MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Interethnic situation in central Russia is still tense, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.

“Monitoring results demonstrate that interethnic tensions are augmenting, as are protest moods in certain population categories,” Nurgaliyev said on Friday at a meeting dedicated to anti-extremism measures.

Since most of federal authorities, ministries and agencies are concentrated in Moscow, the city thus attracts provokers and extremists who seek to use heightened interethnic relations in their interests and to install their envoys, as well as terrorist and extremist gangs, he noted and added that in most cases extremists target students of non-titular ethnic groups who study in big cities of the central federal district.

The minister cited data testifying to the growth of the influence of Islamic organizations in central Russia. “All basic religions are represented in the central federal district. Although the bulk of the population are Orthodox Christians, Islamic organizations are gaining in influence,” he noted.

According to the interior minister, there are 94 Muslim societies, 36 prayer halls, 11 prayer houses, 13 mosques, and five madrasahs in central Russian regions.


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