Police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia, March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev(reuters_tickers)
VLADIVOSTOK/YEKATERINBURG (Reuters) - Several dozen people were detained in protests across Russia on Sunday, after the opposition urged people to take to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on his website that more than 80 towns and cities across Russia would hold protests on Sunday and that authorities had not sanctioned the majority of the rallies.
The Kremlin said on Friday that plans to hold a protest in the centre of Moscow were an illegal provocation.
In the far eastern city of Vladivostok, a Reuters reporter saw the detention of at least 30 protesters at an unsanctioned rally drawing hundreds of young people to a square near the city's railway station.
The detentions started after protesters unfurled banners reading "Corruption steals our future" and "The prime minister should answer".
The protesters then marched to a local police station to demand that police free those who had been detained.
Hundreds also rallied in the city of Yekaterinburg in the industrial Urals region.
Witnesses said at least four people holding banners were detained on the city's Labour Square, where opposition protesters, nationalists and supporters of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party gathered.
Police said 500 to 700 people had gathered on Labour Square but did not confirm that there had been any detentions.
"Corruption affects every person. The fight against corruption can unite all people irrespective of their convictions," 20-year-old student Ivan told Reuters, asking that his last name not be published.
Navalny supporters are due to hold an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow from around 1200 BST.
(Reporting by Alexei Chernyshov in Vladivostok and Natalya Shurmina in Yekaterinburg; Writing by Alexander Winning; editing by Susan Thoma)