"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.