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Illegal immigrants detained in Moscow as Putin promises tougher line

Andrey Smirnov / AFP - Getty Images

A detained illegal immigrant from Uzbekistan, looks from his cell through a dirty glass window with a grate at police station in Kazansky (Kazan) railway station in Moscow on Jan. 24, 2012. Police detained about 30 migrants during a routine check at a railway station in Moscow on Tuesday. In a far-ranging article published earlier on his campaign website, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that he planned to toughen up immigration legislation.

Reuters reports from MOSCOW:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned ethnic tensions could tear Russia apart, saying he would toughen migration rules on reassuming the presidency and keep a tight rein on Russia's regions to prevent it following the Soviet Union into oblivion.

Putin, in power since 2000 and favored to win a six-year presidential term in March, described a Soviet-style vision of a country in which the rights of ethnic minorities would be respected but Russian language and culture would dominate. Continue reading.

Andrey Smirnov / AFP - Getty Images

A police officer, right, locks up a detained illegal immigrant from Uzbekistan in a cell at Kazansky railway station on Jan. 24, 2012.