MOSCOW (JTA) — Demonstrators at an anti-immigration march in Russia shouted anti-Semitic slogans.
Police detained several of the 70 protesters — supporters of far-right movements and a labor union — as they marched Sunday through the streets of Perm, a city near the Urals in central Russia. The marchers included supporters of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, the Union for People’s Sobriety and the trade union Solidarity, according to the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.
The protesters, some of whom wore gas masks, at first directed their ire toward illegal immigrants and shouted in support of Russia. March leaders said they wanted to draw attention to the problems illegal immigrants create for native Russians.
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that the march became more violent, with the demonstrators shouting "Glory to the Holocaust!" and "Beat the Jews! Save Russia!"
Local authorities denied witness accounts that anti-Semitic or extremist slogans were shouted. The local leader of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, Yevdokim Knyazev, also said the intent of the march was not to target Jews.
"I did not hear these slogans," he told the newspaper. "The march went off perfectly."