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Tough Measures Ordered To Prevent Russian Nationalist March

Officials don't want a repeat of last year's march (AFP) November 3, 2006 -- A top Russian prosecutor has warned against plans by far-right and ultranationalist groups to organize a march in Moscow on People's Unity Day on November 4 despite an official ban.

People's Unity Day was created last year by President Vladimir Putin to demonstrate unity in Russia's multiethnic society and tap into growing nationalist sentiment.

Radicals and nationalists last year organized a "Russian March," demonstrating with swastikas and saluting Nazi-style.

Authorities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a number of cities across Russia have banned similar demonstrations planned this year. Organizers have said they would nevertheless push ahead with their plans.

First Deputy Prosecutor-General Aleksandr Buksman said authorities will take tough measures against anyone who tries to break the law. Authorities say some 6,500 police and Interior Ministry troops will be drafted to secure law and order in Moscow.

Meanwhile, liberal politicians and rights groups have planned a counterrally in Moscow on November 4 to protest the rise in xenophobia and to promote tolerance.

(, RIA Novosti)