Supporters of the detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have already taken to the streets in the far east of Russia on Wednesday to protest against the treatment of the well-known Kremlin critic.
The demonstrations are planned to spread across the country in the coming hours to the major cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
With their actions, the protesters defied the authorities, who already shut down centres in several cities, such as in Yekaterinburg.
Video footage from the Siberian city of Irkutsk showed a large crowd shouting “Freedom for Navalny,” calling for President Putin’s resignation. More than a hundred people would have been arrested. In Irkutsk, it is a few hours later than in western Russia.
The Navalny team announced protests in more than 200 Russian cities and towns to draw attention to the plight of the 44-year-old Navalny, who went on a hunger strike a few weeks ago.