Police officers try to push protesters away
Photo: ANATOLY MALTSEV / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
On Saturday tens of thousands of people gathered in Russia at several rallies to demonstrate for the release of regime critic Alexey Navalny.
One day after the mass protests, however, the Kremlin spoke of only a few people on the streets.
"Now many will say that many people went to the unauthorized actions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state television.
“No, few people went.
Many people are voting for Putin, "said Peskov on the program" Moscow.Kreml.Putin, "which was to be broadcast on Sunday evening.
Peskov also criticized the US embassy in Moscow, which had published a list of demo meeting places and times in the run-up to the protests.
This is "a direct support for the violation of the law," said President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.
The Russian State Department had previously complained that Washington was interfering in domestic Russian affairs under the guise of concerns about the safety of US citizens abroad.
The new US administration, in turn, condemned the "harsh methods" used by the Russian security forces in dealing with demonstrators and journalists.
According to the organizers, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in more than 100 Russian cities for the release of opposition leader Navalny in an unprecedented wave of protest on Saturday.
In the capital Moscow alone, there should have been 40,000 demonstrators.
The police published significantly lower numbers.
Navalny, who was the victim of a poison attack in August, was imprisoned for 30 days immediately after his return to Moscow a week ago.
The 44-year-old is said to have violated reporting requirements in previous criminal proceedings while he was recovering from the attack in Germany.
He faces several criminal proceedings and many years in prison in Russia.
Icon: The mirror
kha / dpa / AFP