Police cordoned off a square next to the Kremlin and detained several youths Thursday as they attempted to head off a nationalist protest by right-wing football fans.
Police acted on intelligence gleaned from social networking sites that advertised an afternoon gathering on Manezh Square by fans of the main Moscow football clubs.
According to a message visible on Facebook, the rally was to be in memory of a Spartak Moscow fan killed in a brawl with Chechen youths exactly three years ago.
A policeman on the square told RIA Novosti that several people in possession of "banned items" had already been taken into police vans.
Yury Volkov was stabbed in the center of Moscow in the summer of 2010. That October, a jury found two men, Ahmedpasha Aidayev and Bekhan Ibragimov, guilty of premeditated murder. Aidayev was sentenced to 17 years in prison, Ibragimov received six years in prison.
Another Spartak fan, Yegor Sviridov, was shot dead in a brawl with a group of youths from the North Caucasus in December 2010.
Anger over how the police handled the Sviridov investigation resulted in some 5,000 nationalists and football hooligans rioting outside the Kremlin walls in December 2010.