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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mayor Denies Racism

MOSCOW () -- Moscow's mayor on Thursday denied charges that police were targeting ethnic minorities in their latest anti-crime campaign in the Russian capital.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov was accused of racism by minority leaders after he said the campaign against "unwelcome elements" would focus on people from the Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya.

He tempered his words Thursday in remarks to the upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council. "We don't care about what nationality a criminal is," Luzhkov insisted, according to Interfax.

To buttress his claim, Luzhkov said in the past two days, police had arrested 2,349 ethnic Russians and 377 Caucasians.