MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) – Between 156 and 254 people by various estimates were held at protest rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg on late Thursday and Friday, triggered by the jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Moscow police said they had charged 110 with administrative offenses after a rally by the downtown Manezh Square on Thursday, while their St. Petersburg colleagues reported making 56 detentions.

All detainees from overnight were released in Moscow, while in St. Petersburg five remained at police precincts pending a hearing, police said.

A Moscow City Hall official said late Thursday there had been “about 200” detainees in the capital after the protest, but some were released without charge, according to reports in the media and on social networks.

Arrests continued on Friday in Moscow, where protesters assembled near the city's Kitai Gorod metro station, the scene of previous opposition protests and sit-ins.

OVD-Info independent rights group, which tracks police arrests, said a total of 195 people were held in Moscow over Thursday and Friday, and another 59 in St. Petersburg.

Navalny was given five years in jail Thursday on embezzlement charges he claimed were fabricated in response to his attacks on the Kremlin and whistleblowing activity. He was detained in the courtroom Thursday, but released Friday pending an appeal at the request of the prosecution, which said his premature detention would harm his bid for the Moscow mayoral elections on September 8.