About 200 people have held an anti-war demonstration in St. Petersburg, while about 30 people joined a similar march in Moscow to call for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and stay out of the fighting in Syria.

Police detained about 10 of the protesters in Moscow and two in St. Petersburg, where participants walked through the city holding blue and yellow balloons, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Those detained in St. Petersburg were a woman who tried to unfold an anti-war poster and a man who draped a Ukrainian flag around his shoulders. Police said only balloons and ribbons were allowed.

The man detained, history teacher Oleg Ilyin, said he joined Sunday's march because he was "for peace in Ukraine and wanted the war there to stop."