MOSCOW--A man from the Caucasus region was reportedly taken into custody Tuesday as a suspect in the stabbing death of a young Russian, a crime that triggered riots targeting migrant workers in a Moscow suburb.
Russian news agencies identified the suspect as Orkhan Zeinalov, 30, of Azerbaijan, and said he was an independent taxi driver who had been living in Russia for more than 10 years. Although not yet formally arrested or charged, he is considered a suspect in the death of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, whose stabbing became a flashpoint in tensions between ethnic Russians and migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Such migrants, most of of whom work as traders or construction workers, have faced violence and discrimination in Russia for years.
Zeinalov was apprehended by police special forces in the city of Kolomna, about 75 miles southwest of Moscow, and was flown to the capital by helicopter, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Zeinalov initially resisted arrest, RIA Novosti said, and later admitted his guilt to officers, although authorities said it was not a formal confession.
According to the news agency, a police spokesman said Zeinalov's landlord in Moscow will receive a $31,000 reward that had been announced by the Interior Ministry for information leading to the capture of the suspect.
a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, as saying that "the detectives plan to file a request to put him under arrest" on Wednesday.
Shcherbakov's girlfriend, who has not been identified, has said that her boyfriend was trying to protect her from a "non-Russian" attacker when he was stabbed to death Thursday.
News of the death prompted young Russians, described by authorities as drunk, to run riot through the streets of the Biryulyovo district on the southern edge of Moscow, throwing stones, overturning cars and demanding the deportation of migrant workers. More than 20 people were reported injured, and nearly 400 were detained by police. Authorities said Tuesday that two of them had been arrested.
On Monday, authorities raided a vegetable market that was a target of the disturbance, detaining about 1,200 workers and traders, most from the northern Caucasus region. Authorities said the detainees were being investigated for criminal connections.
Meanwhile, the vegetable market was shut down for five days and investigators seized its financial records, Itar-Tass said.