Staunton, Dec. 8 – The recent spate of arrests of Central Asians and Caucasians associated with the mixed martial arts clubs in the Russian capital have prompted Andrey Medvedev, the deputy speaker of the Moscow City Duma, to demand that these clubs be closed because they are promoting radical Islam and drug-related criminal activity.
Mixed martial arts clubs in Moscow were established to help integrate migrants into the life of the capital, Medvedev says. They are keeping the migrants isolated from others and forming them into Islamist cells or criminal groups (vz.ru/society/2021/12/5/1132396.html and kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/378/posts/51647).
For the good of native Muscovites and also the migrants themselves, he continues, these clubs must be closed down before they create any more problems. What these clubs have become, he says, is a symptom that all is far from OK as far as inter-ethnic relations are concerned.
If Moscow does decide to shutter these groups, what is most likely to happen is that those who want to be part of that subculture will simply go underground, a development that will make it even more difficult for the Russian authorities to keep tabs on and control such people.