housands of people have been arrested at anti-war protests across Russia.
Footage posted online showed large crowds in cities including Moscow and St Petersburg with protesters chanting “No to war” and “Shame on you”.
Russia’s interior ministry says more than 3,500 people were detained at protests against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Dozens of protesters in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg were shown being detained. One protester there was shown being beaten on the ground by police in riot gear. A mural in the city showing President Vladimir Putin was defaced.
A spokeswoman for protest monitoring group OVD-Info said: “The screws are being fully tightened – essentially we are witnessing military censorship.
“We are seeing rather big protests today, even in Siberian cities where we only rarely saw such numbers of arrests.”
Some Russian state-controlled media carried short reports about Sunday’s protests but they did not feature high in news bulletins.
Russia’s RIA news agency said the Manezhnaya Square in Moscow, adjoining the Kremlin, had been “liberated” by police, who had arrested some participants of an unsanctioned protest against the military operation in Ukraine.
The protests in Russia are part of a wave of events around the world against the invasion of Ukraine.
Demonstrators denounced President Putin as a “delusional lunatic” and a “bully” as hundreds gathered in central London.
Some members of the crowd, including expats from Russia, Poland and Lithuania, wept as they voiced support for people affected by the war.
Campaigners gathered outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House to wave signs saying “Russian troops out” and “No Nato Expansion”.
Protesters chanted “Stop the war” and “Russian troops out now” as they began their march through the centre of the capital.
Speakers were due to address the crowd at Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoon.