Support The Moscow Times!

St. Petersburg Police Round Up Thousands of Migrant Workers in New Year's Raids – Reports

St. Petersburg's Palace Square on New Year's Eve. Peter Kovalev / TASS

Police in St. Petersburg detained some 3,000 migrant workers during New Year's Eve celebrations, the local news website Fontanka reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

More than 600 of those detained had allegedly broken Russia’s immigration laws, Fontanka said, with over 100 people expected to be deported from the country. 

Police carried out Sunday night's mass round-up of migrants near metro stations, as well as a popular New Year’s Eve celebration spot in central St. Petersburg, according to the news outlet Bumaga.

Last year saw widespread and regular reports of police in cities across Russia rounding up migrant workers who recently received Russian citizenship but failed to complete their compulsory military registration.

Some of the migrants, who are predominantly from Central Asian countries, have been handed military summons on the spot, while others are forcibly taken to military enlistment offices, according to reports.

Neither Fontanka nor Bumaga specified whether the migrant workers targeted in the New Year's Eve raids in St. Petersburg had been handed military summons.

On New Year's Day last year, Fontanka reported similar police round-ups, saying that law enforcement agents carried out “preventive raids” for violations of Russia’s immigration laws.

Up to 2,000 people were believed to have been detained at the time, among them an unspecified number of migrant workers, as well as “dozens” of intoxicated residents and those accused of illegally launching fireworks.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more