> This is one of his YouTube videos. It alleges the prime minister secretly owns an island chain of luxury homes, and it's racked up over 14 million views. Navalny's page on Russia's version of Facebook seen here.>> Partly, that's out of necessity. He's effectively barred from appearing on state-run television which is where most Russians, traditionally at least, get their news.
>> It's clear that this is not a phenomenon that's restricted to the big cities with big intelligentsia. This was something that's also happening out in the provinces. We had a correspondent who was in Ekaterinburg at the weekend in the Ural Mountains, a big industrial city, who reported there as well.
There were large numbers of young people out protesting.>> Many of these youth have never known a Russia without Putin at the top. Thousands have shown up, the biggest protest since 2012. And largely driven by this man, Alexey Navalny, the 40-year-old corruption campaigner who uses the Internet to spread his message.
So he's been forced onto the Internet, but he actually does it very effectively.>> It's too early to say whether these activists can mount a serious opposition. Navalny wants to challenge Putin in next year's elections, but the president has a huge lead in the polls. Navalny might even be barred from running due to an embezzlement conviction, what he's called a political roadblock.
The Kremlin says many demonstrators were paid to show up, although they haven't offered any evidence.