Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Celebrating with 6 Tons of Fish Soup and a Singing Bear

The third annual People's Unity Day was celebrated across the country over the long weekend with hundred of rallies, marches collective prayers and other public events, including the making of the world's largest batch of fish soup.

Hundreds of nationalists held marches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok without incident, police and anti-fascist activists said.

But state-controlled television focused on larger public rallies -- including some held Monday -- supporting President Vladimir Putin as a symbol of national unity. Some 10,000 people took to the streets Monday in Nazran, the largest city in Ingushetia, Rossia television reported. The president's supporters were shown carrying placards that read "Putin Is Our President" and "Putin's Plan is Russia's Triumph," the primary campaign slogan for the pro-Kremlin party United Russia ahead of the Dec. 2 State Duma elections.

Similar rallies were held in several regional capitals Sunday. According to a Livejournal blogger in Khanty-Mansiisk, a man in a 2.5-meter bear suit entertained local street revelers in the city center with a text extolling three symbols of national might set to the tune of a recent hit by the pop group Bely Oryol: the Grad multiple-rocket launch systems, Putin and Stalingrad.

The same song roared out of speakers at a United Russia rally Sunday in central Moscow as well.

In the far eastern city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, city authorities decided to celebrate the holiday by having the largest ever batch of ukha, or fish soup, whipped up in an attempt to make it into the "Guinness Book of Records."

Six tons of soup were prepared and dished out to 12,000 people at a 120-meter-long table that set up for the event, national media reported.

Meanwhile, Vyacheslav Postavnin, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, downplayed the significance of the ultranationalist rallies, which are typically held to protest dark-skinned migrants who live and work in Russia.

Postavnin told Interfax on Saturday evening that such rallies were an understandable, "painful reaction to the painful events of 1990s," including the "seizing of certain sectors of trade and business" by natives of the Caucasus.