Thousands of people have held rallies across Russia protesting against what they describe as the government’s mismanagement of the economy.
The biggest demonstration took place in the eastern city of Vladivostok, where protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In the capital Moscow, police arrested a number of people at an unauthorised gathering by a radical party.
Meanwhile, government supporters also held their rallies across the country.
Protests on such a large scale were unthinkable just a few months ago as the economy boomed with record high oil prices and as the Kremlin tightened its grip over almost all aspects of society, the BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow says.
But now with the economy in deep trouble, there is real fear amongst ordinary people about what the future will hold, he says.
He adds that unemployment is rising rapidly, as are the prices of basic food and utilities.
I cannot emphasize enough how much of the Kremlin’s legitimacy rests–either directly or indirectly–on good economic performance.
There’s a lot more to write about recent developments involving the Russians. I hope to get around to it soon.