About 500 migrants from Uzbekistan clashed with police in southern Russia as they tried to force their way toward the border into Kazakhstan, Russian media reported Tuesday.
Thousands of migrant workers, mostly from ex-Soviet states, have been stranded in Russia since late March, when countries closed their borders and halted international flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. Makeshift camps have reportedly appeared along Russia’s southern borders as they wait to go home.
The clashes between the Uzbek migrants and law enforcement broke out in the Samara region on Monday after a previously scheduled update on their status was never announced.
“They then ‘attempted to break through’ to the territory of the Orenburg region [that borders Kazakhstan]. The security forces returned them to the territory of the Samara region,” Interfax cited a source as saying.
The source told Interfax that no one was injured during the clashes.
“It was contained very quickly without the intervention of National Guard officers,” the Samara region National Guard told the state-run TASS news agency.
Last month, hundreds of Azeri nationals unable to cross the Russian border to go home blocked a highway and clashed with police in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan.