Riot police broke up protests across Russia on Sunday in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, detaining more than 5,000 people as Navalny supporters. 

Thousands of people turned out in cities across Russia on January 31 to demand the release of detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to monitoring group OVD-info, police detained more than 5,000 demonstrators.  

Police put turnout at Sunday’s Moscow protest at around 2,000 people.  Reuters reportedly estimated crowds of several thousand, smaller than last weekend.

In St Petersburg and Moscow police used force to detain protesters and were occasionally seen using tasers (non-lethal electroshock weapon).

At least 5,021 people were reportedly detained nationwide, including 1,608 in Moscow.

Navalny, 44, was arrested on January 17 after returning to Moscow from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Russia last summer.  He accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin denies.