Over 1,700 detained at pro-Navalny rallies across Russia
Thousands of people took to the streets Wednesday evening to demanded freedom and proper medical attention for Navalny, who has been hunger strike for three weeks in a penal colony outside Moscow.
The opposition staged demonstrations in dozens of Russian cities, with the largest rallies taking place in Moscow.
The OVD-Info monitoring group, which tracks detentions at opposition protests, said that by Thursday morning police had detained "more than 1,783 people in 97 cities".
In Russia, participation in unauthorised demonstrations can lead to a fine or several days in jail.
The majority of detentions -- 805 -- took place in Saint Petersburg, where police violently dispersed crowds with shock sticks.
Key Navalny aide Lyubov Sobol was also taken into police custody ahead of the rally in Moscow and is due to appear in court later Thursday.
Tens of thousands took to the streets despite freezing temperatures while more than 11,000 people were detained.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years over an old fraud conviction and has been serving time in a penal colony about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow.
His health has been failing since he launched his hunger strike to demand proper medical care for a range of ailments, including back pain and numbness in his limbs.