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Police detain protesters during an unauthorized protest rally against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow Sunday. Yulia Navalny, the activist's wife, was among over 1,500 people detained in the city, per AP. She was released after a few hours. Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Over 5,000 demonstrators were detained in major Russian cities Sunday, as authorities cracked down on people who defied orders and protested against the detention of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, monitoring groups said.

Why it matters: Navalny's detention has united Russians from a variety of backgrounds, including those who are against his politics, to protest the authoritarian leadership of President Vladimir Putin, per the New York Times.

  • Russian prosecutors have demanded that social media platforms censor calls to join protests, AP notes.
People with Russian national flags take part in an unauthorized protest in Novosibirsk. Demonstrators rallied despite police arresting thousands of protesters last week. Photo: Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Image
Police officers detain a protester in St. Petersburg. Moscow School for Social and Economic Sciences sociologist Konstantin Gaaze told the NYT, "Navalny has, for the first time, sparked a Russian protest movement against the president." Photo: Sergei Mikhailichenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Riot police at an unauthorized rally in Vladivostok. Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS via Getty Images
A police officer detains a demonstrator during an unauthorized protest in the Far East city of Yakutsk in the Republic of Sakha. Photo: Vadim Skryabin/TASS via Getty Images
Moscow law enforcement officers stand guard outside Chistye Prudy metro station ahead of a planned unauthorized rally. Authorities shut stations and were restricting movement across the city, the BBC notes. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images
Demonstrators and police officers in Yakutsk, where temperatures have hit -39 degrees Fahrenheit. Photo: Vadim Skryabin/TASS via Getty Image
Riot police detain a demonstrator in Novosibirsk. Photo: Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images
The scene in St Petersburg ahead of an unauthorized rally in the port city. Photo: Alexander Demianchuk/TASS via Getty Images
Police officers detain a demonstrator during an unauthorized protest in Yekaterinburg, in the Ural Mountains. Photo: Donat Sorokin/TASS via Getty Images
Novosibirsk police officers detain demonstrators. Photo: Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Images
Vladivostok police officers detain a demonstrator. Photo: Yuri Smityuk/TASS via Getty Images
Yulia Navalny, Alexei Navalny's wife, joined protesters in Moscow, Russia. Yulia has been released after she was arrested by police officers who did not properly identify themselves, according to a tweet from Navalny's team. Photo: Yulia Navalny via AP
Police block the street at Matrosskaya Tishina, the penitentiary where Alexei Navalny is being held in Moscow. Photo: AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov
Moscow police officers detain a demonstrator. Photo: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Police officers detain a demonstrator in the Siberian city of Omsk, Russia. Photo: AP Photo
Police officers detain a demonstrator in St. Petersburg. Photo: AP Photo/Valentin Egorshin
Police officers detain demonstrator in the capital of Buryatia, near the Russia-Mongolia border. Photo: AP Photo/Anna Ogorodnik

Go deeper: Biden's Russia challenge

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more photos and the latest arrest total.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios