The Russian police arrested 1,496 supporters of the detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny in demonstrations in more than 80 Russian cities on Wednesday, according to the Russian organization OVD-Info, which keeps track of protests and arrests.
The protesters demand that President Vladimir Putin resign and that Navalny be released.
The demonstrations started in the east of the country on Wednesday. Small illegal protests with hundreds of participants arose in several cities. During the day, protests spread further across Russia.
According to the police, there were about 6,000 people in the capital Moscow. In Saint Petersburg, there were 4,500, of which about 300 have been detained.
Earlier Wednesday, Russian agents in Moscow arrested a Navalny spokeswoman and lawyer. Dutch NRC correspondent Eva Cukier reported on Twitter that she had been detained at the start of the demonstration in Yaroslavl but was released after three hours.
The Navalny team had announced demonstrations in more than 200 Russian places. They want to draw attention to the 44-year-old opposition leader, whose health is deteriorating but is not receiving the necessary medical care. In protest against this, Navalny went on a hunger strike three weeks ago.