Twenty-four hours after he was arrested, Alexei Navalny, the leader of protests against President Vladimir Putin that resulted in the arrests of more than 1,500 demonstrators across Russian Federation, says he has been released from detention.
About 1,500 people took part in an unsanctioned protest rally in Moscow on Saturday.
Anti-Kremlin protesters poured into the streets of Moscow after Navalny had called for demonstrations in more than 90 towns and cities across Russian Federation against what he says is Putin's autocratic, tsar-like rule.
Video showed police carrying a struggling Navalny out of the square, holding him by the legs and arms.
Riot police beat protesters with truncheons, dragged them along the ground and threw them into police vans in Moscow, in an attempt to disperse a huge crowd that packed Pushkin Square to protest against Putin's swearing-in ceremony for a fourth Kremlin term on Monday.
Putin is due to be sworn in for his fourth term on May 7, extending an 18-year reign that his supporters say has lifted the country "from its knees" and is denounced by his opponents as a corrupt, calcifying authoritarian kleptocracy.
Supporters of opposition figure Aleksei Navalny gathered for rallies across Russian Federation on Saturday.
"I think that Putin isn't worthy of leading this country".
But the protests also showed the determination of Navalny's sizable number of core supporters, many of them young, who are still willing to risk detention and police violence to make their voices heard. Police said the crowd numbered some 1,500 people, but officials routinely downplay the size of opposition protests in Russian Federation.
When is Putin's inauguration? .
Of them, more than 700 were detained in Moscow and more than 230 in second city Saint Petersburg.
With more than 56 million votes, nearly 77 percent of the total, his March election win was his biggest ever and the largest by any post-Soviet Russian leader, something he and his allies say gave him an unequivocal mandate to govern.
OVD-Info, a rights organisation that monitors detentions, said it had received reports of police detaining 1,597 people across Russian Federation, almost half of them in Moscow.
"The United States condemns #Russia's detention of hundreds of peaceful protestors and calls for their immediate release", State spokeswoman Heather Nauert posted on Twitter. Putin has dismissed Navalny, who was barred from running in the presidential election on what he said was a trumped-up pretext, as a troublemaker bent on sowing chaos on behalf of Washington.
Perhaps at the start of another six-year term for President Putin, is Mr Navalny not better served by focusing on his anti-corruption campaign which exposes the system for what it is, not for what he tries to make it seem?