Moscow police arrested dozens of nationalists planning to hold the annual far-right Russian March in the Russian capital, the police-monitoring website OVD-Info reported Thursday.
The ultra-nationalist Russian March has been held every Nov. 4, the day of Russia's National Unity Day state holiday, with and without the authorities’ permission since 2005. That year, President Vladimir Putin created the holiday to replace commemorations of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Moscow City Hall did not authorize the Russian March to take place this year, while police cordoned off Red Square and parked vans outside metro stations to thwart the planned march.
Organizers called on supporters to gather at four central metro stations and converge at Pushkinskaya station in the afternoon, according to the anti-racism think tank SOVA Center.
“Detentions began quite quickly,” SOVA Center said.
A total of 27 Russian March attendees had been detained at various Moscow subway stations by late Thursday, according to OVD-Info.
They included at least three minors, one of them a 13-year-old boy.
Police released the participants hours later after taking their fingerprints but without filing any charges.
Russian March organizer Nikita Zaytsev was detained on charges of disobeying police orders ahead of the event Wednesday and placed under arrest for 10 days.
SOVA Center noted that other nationalist factions organized conferences and attended church service Thursday, deeming street actions unmanageable amid heightened police presence.