It has been a tense week in Moscow... Yesterday the problems really erupted. (You can read about it all in this article from The Moscow News or in this one from The Economist.) I was oblivious to it all, rushing from work to get some items I needed from IKEA, OBI and Auchon before the school holiday assemblies and my guests arrive from the USA. Traffic was really bad, but then again, isn't that now a given in Moscow?
On the way back I noticed it was really bad, so I turned on the news—and I was so surprised to hear about Red Square, Kievskiy, Evropeyskiy Mall and other places being closed down and swarming with OMON soldiers dealing with skinhead rioters... It even spread to Park Kulturiy metro and Frunzenskaya as the rioters ran away from cops at Park Kulturiy—and skinheads had gathered nearby at Luzhniki since many immigrants work at the big market there.
It seemed hard to believe until Katya and I were leaving her school building, and suddenly a Russian man started to beat an Asian immigrant who works as a "dvornik" (think street cleaner, outdoor janitor) in our neighborhood. It was really loud and scary; I grabbed Katya by the coat and we ran to our car. I let a security guard know about it; I hope the man wasn't hurt too badly and that someone came to help...!
Katya wrote about it last night in an email; I'm reprinting her text because I think she did a really good job.