Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Russian Federation on Sunday in the biggest show of defiance since the 2011-2012 anti-government protests. Rallies were reported in 82 cities and towns in total.
About 7 000 to 8 000 people demonstrated in Moscow on Sunday, according to police figures, making it one of the biggest unauthorised rallies in President Vladimir Putin's 17 years in power.
What Navalny has done to provoke official enmity is issue frequent statements alleging instances of top Kremlin officials amassing huge fortunes.
The Fund for Combatting Corruption (FBK) and its leader, Putin-opposition activist Alexei Navalny, released a report earlier this month and called for the protests Sunday as a way to demand that Russian authorities investigate. His organization's offices were raided by police, who arrested 20 staff members.
The Interfax news agency said 130 people were arrested in Saint Petersburg, where about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre.
Thousands of people filled central Pushkin Square, some shouting "Russia without (President Vladimir) Putin".
"We can not respect those who deliberately misled underage minors promising them some payment in return for participating in an unauthorized protest, thereby exposing them to danger", Peskov said, according to state-run news agency Tass.
Peskov said without mentioning Navalny by name that the Kremlin is anxious that "some people will continue using (politically) active people.to their own ends, calling them to illegal and unauthorised actions". Yandex, Russia's largest search engine that aggregates news stories, did not include the protests in their roundup.
A spokesman for the US Government said Mr Trump's administration "strongly condemns" the crackdown on protesting in the country.
Russian police say that about 500 people were arrested, while human rights groups say 1,000 were taken into custody.
"This situation causes deep concern in France", a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. Journalists were also detained while covering the incidents. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations, and on Monday rejected calls from the USA and E.U.to release protesters who were still being held, accusing organizers of having paid some of the crowd to attend.
"The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution".
In Russia's barren political landscape, Navalny is the only politician who appeals to the young, she said.
In July 2016, as Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis and low oil prices hit average Russians hard, Navalny revealed that deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov was sending his pet corgis on private jets to dog shows around Europe. "A start of investigation?" read their report.
"You can't detain everyone who's against corruption". As NPR's Lucian Kim reported, "he called on Russians to go out on the street and protest voter fraud in the parliamentary elections". Putin then publicly blamed Clinton, saying she incited them.
The protests are thought to be the biggest in at least five years, and come amid growing pressure from the USA and European Union for the Kremlin to release political prisoners.