Amid the anti-Putin protests, one of the banners in the style of a small ad called for the veteran leader to be part-exchanged.
Another announced March 5 as the start of the Russian spring.
Before the hundreds of arrests that took place later in the evening, thousands demonstrated against Vladimir Putin’s victory calling for new elections and a reform of the political system.
“We are in favour of honesty” said two teenage girls. “There wasn’t a level playing field, at the start of the elections, the candidates did not have the same opportunities to win.”
“I came here to show to the Kremlin that they should not forget what they promised: more democracy,” said a middle-aged man.
“I came here with the message: I don’t think my voice has been counted. And I would like them to stop lying and stealing,” said a woman.
Many of those demonstrating in Moscow’s Pushkin Square were too young to remember the dissident protests during Soviet times.
It is not clear whether today’s authorities will continue to tolerate street protests of the kind Russian cities have witnessed over the past three months.