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Russian nationalist rallies to be held in Moscow on Unity Day

MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's November 4 National Unity Day public holiday is again set to see nationalist and far-right rallies in Moscow.

One of the rallies has been sanctioned by the authorities, and is to take place in the center of the capital. It is expected to draw about 5,000 people. The organizers have promised that the event will go ahead without incident.

"The main motto will be 'For a Russian Russia,'" Ilya Goryachev, a representative of the Russian Image movement, which is organizing the event with the People's Union, earlier said.

A number of other groups have said they will hold unsanctioned rallies. Police have said they will clamp down on any illegal marches.

The first 'Russian March' was held in Moscow on November 4, 2005. It was the first legally- sanctioned, large-scale nationalist event in post-Soviet Russia.

In 2006, a planned National Unity Day march by nationalist groups was banned by Moscow authorities. However, far-right groups defied the ruling and marched. Some 200 people were subsequently arrested.

More than 70 people have been killed and some 300 injured in ethnically motivated violence in Russia so far this year, the deputy head of a think-tank dealing with the problem said in late September.

Russian media reported late last year that teenage ultra-nationalist gangs may have been responsible for up to 50 race-hate murders in Moscow in 2007.

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