20:04 GMT28 February 2021
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    The amount of Western coverage of last week's rallies in Russia was greater than the scale of these protests, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Sputnik news agency, said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A number of coordinated protests took place across Russia on Sunday. The rally in Moscow, which attracted some 7,000 to 8,000 people, had not received permission from local authorities and was broken up, leading to over 600 detentions, according to the city’s security chief. One police officer was injured.

    "The attendance varied from a thousand at one location to 5,000 at another and 7,000-8,000 elsewhere. I think opposition and particularly Western media have blown this story out of proportion," Simonyan said in a video link-up, adding that rallies in the United States and France, which attracted hundreds of thousands, received less attention.

    "There should be a sense of proportion. I’m frankly baffled by how intentional and planned it all looks," Simonyan noted.

    The protests were called by Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny, who was handed a 15-day jail term on Monday for resisting police orders during the Moscow demonstration. His and other detentions led to demands from Western politicians to let them walk free.

    Participants in an unauthorized rally on Moscow's Pushkin Square.
    © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
    Participants in an unauthorized rally on Moscow's Pushkin Square.


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