The march was intended to show support for Governor Sergei Furgal of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, but slogans against President Vladimir Putin were also heard during the protest. On videotape, protesters are heard shouting, among other things, "Putin is a thief!", "Putin, resign!" and “Freedom!” tells the BBC.

Some marchers demanded that Furgal should be brought back from Moscow and the charges investigated by local forces.

Furgal was arrested earlier this week. He is accused of ordering the killing of several businessmen 15 years ago. Furgal has vehemently denied the charge.

Furgal won a United Russia candidate in support of Putin in an election a couple of years ago. He received 70 percent of the vote in the election.

Local media estimates of those who took part in the demonstration march ranged from 5,000 to 40,000. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny's regional office described the nearly four-hour event on Twitter as "a record for the region and a unique demonstration of community unity."

More than 40,000 people have signed an address demanding the release of Furgal.