Supporters of imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny have turned to a new form of protest aimed at avoiding arrest after more than 11,000 people were detained in earlier demonstrations.
The supporters joined small lighted walks or stood in front of their homes for 15 minutes on the evening of Valentine's Day, holding torches aloft to express their solidarity with Navalny.
Photos shared by the dissident's team showed participants in St Petersburg and Moscow holding mobile phone torches walking in small groups through the city centre or standing in their back yards on Sunday.
Many formed hearts with candles or their fingers.
The decentralised action under the motto "Love is stronger than fear" began in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk, where darkness fell earlier than in the capital Moscow.
In Tomsk, where Navalny was the victim of a poison attack in August, someone projected the words "Love is stronger than fear" onto the wall of a high-rise building.
The demonstration is a response to the "unprecedented wave of violence and repression" by security forces at past rallies, the organisers said in the call to protest.
The peaceful initiative is intended to make it difficult for the police to take action against it. The Kremlin earlier said it had no interest in a "cat-and-mouse game" but that it will prosecute violations of the law.
Unlike the major protests at the end of January, the torchlight action was not officially banned by authorities. However, Navalny's team reported police searches of several offices in the preceding days.
In the city of Kazan, about 700 kilometres east of Moscow, police arrested nine people on Sunday after an approved rally against political repression, according to the civil rights organisation OWD-Info.
Earlier in Moscow and St Petersburg, supporters formed human chains to express their solidarity with Navalny's wife Yulia, who is now expected to be separated from her husband for years.
Navalny himself sent his wife a Valentine's Day greeting on Instagram. "I love you," the opposition leader wrote under a picture of the couple.
Yulia responded promptly, posting a photo showing her and Navalny sitting on a bench. "I'm not sad, I know that everything will be fine," she wrote.
President Vladimir Putin sees the demonstrations as an attempt by Moscow's opponents to exploit discontent among the population.
Navalny was sentenced almost a fortnight ago to serve a multi-year prison term imposed in an earlier trial, which was heavily criticised internationally.
In the eyes of the judge, he had violated parole conditions while recovering from a poison attack in Germany.