Two marches by anti-government demonstrators have been prevented by the police in Moscow and St Petersburg (photo, from cnn.com), detaining at least 100 protesters.
In Moscow, two squares where protesters were to gather were ringed by police trucks, and officers arrested dozens of people.
A hundred protesters have been blocked by the police from marching on St Petersburg’s main thoroughfare and 10 people have been arrested.
Those were the lastest protests organised by former chess champion Garry Kasparov’s Other Russia movement. It has tried to stage several protests it calls dissenters’ marches.
Eduard Limonov, Mr Kasparov’s fellow leader, is among the people arrested on Sunday.
Sunday’s demonstration had not been given permission and the Moscow authorities had warned that they would be “firmly stopped by law enforcement officers within the framework of the law”.
Those protests follow the founding on Saturday of a new umbrella movement for Kremlin opponents. It is called Solidarity, after the Polish trade union that first breached the communist dominance in the former Soviet bloc.
On Saturday, Mr Kasparov said that Solidarity’s goal was “dismantling the Putin regime”.
“It is impossible to reform this regime”, he told more than 100 delegates at the founding congress in the Khimki area of Moscow.
Other leaders include a former deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov.
Smoke bombs were set off outside the conference hall by a pro-Kremlin youth movement, Young Russia. Some of them wore monkey masks and taunted delegates by tossing bananas at them.