Thousands of Russians took to the streets across the country Sunday to protest against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in rallies called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. News reports say Navalny was detained in Moscow while he was on his way to a rally.
The protests appeared to be the largest coordinated outpouring of dissatisfaction since the massive 2011-2012 demonstrations following a fraud-tainted parliamentary election.
As of midday in Moscow, state news media had not reported the protests. News websites and social media, however, were reporting demonstrations in cites from Vladivostok in the far east to Yekaterinburg in the Urals. Dozens of arrests were reported in Vladivostok.
Navalny called the demonstrations after publishing a detailed report earlier this month accusing Medvedev of amassing a collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards through a shadowy network of non-profit organizations.
The report has been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube. Medvedev has not reacted to it so far.
Protesters plan to hold unsanctioned rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg later in the day.
Navalny said on his official website that 99 Russian cities planned to protest, but that in 72 of them local authorities did not give permission.
The Kremlin critic, who has announced his intention to run for president in next year’s election, has been rallying supporters in major Russian cities in recent weeks.