MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) - A group of nationalists clashed with activists of anti-fascist movements on Wednesday in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
Nationalist rallies, known as Russian Marches, are traditionally held in some Russian regions on November 4 during the celebrations of Russia's national holiday, the Day of People's Unity. The country's nationalists first held the Russian March on November 4, 2005.
A group of nationalists, who held an unsanctioned rally near one of St. Petersburg's remote parks, clashed with anti-fascist activists who gathered nearby. The clash was quickly stopped by riot police.
According to Russian media reports, nationalists rallied in other Russian cities, including Moscow and the Siberian cities of Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk.
Up to 1,500 people took part in the so-called Russian March in Moscow's southern district of Lyublino. The participants were mostly teenagers and young people in their 20s; many of them covered their faces.
About 500 people, chanting nationalist slogans, have gathered for the Russian March in Novosibirsk. A similar event gathered some 200 people in the Eastern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
The gatherings were sanctioned by the local authorities and were held without incident.
November 4 commemorates the popular uprising which expelled the Polish-Lithuanian occupation force from Moscow in November 1612, and more generally the end of the Time of Troubles and foreign intervention in Russia in the Polish-Muscovite War (1605-1618). The day is a Russian national holiday.
Over 40,000 police officers and troops have been deployed to monitor about 400 public events in 64 Russian regions. Over 203,000 people are expected to take part in the celebrations.