Russia Marks National Unity Day
Russia is marking National Unity Day with nationalists and government supporters expected to march through the streets of Moscow.
Putin has used the November 4 holiday to promote patriotism and seek to consolidate society and strengthen the Kremlinâs grip on a vast, diverse country.
Celebrations in recent years have been marred by antigovernment rallies and scuffles between protesters and riot police.
Last year, authorities detained over 70 demonstrators after nationalists gathered in central Moscow for an antigovernment rally.
While Putin has promoted a patriotic brand of nationalism, the Kremlin is wary of hard-line ethnic Russian or Slavic nationalists, many of whom are disenchanted with his leadership. The government has prevented them from marching in central Moscow in recent years.
National Unity Day is a national holiday created by Putin in 2005 to celebrate a Russian victory over Polish forces in 1612.
It took the place of Soviet-era commemorations of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, which are held on November 7.