At least 5,000 people marched in Moscow on Friday to call on the government to "take Russia back for the Russians".
The wave of nationalist sentiment, combined with growing anger over unemployment and immigration, has left Russia's leaders vulnerable to criticism for their continued support of independence-minded areas such as Chechnya.
Opposition parties however, are starting to turn their attention to the nationalists. Perhaps to win favour with the group, the Communists, Russia's second largest party, have debated the re-introduction of ethnic identification in Russian passports.
Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Moscow.