MOSCOW—The jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last month galvanized the biggest popular protests in Russia in nearly a decade, as his supporters were joined across the country by average Russians upset with falling living standards and shrinking political freedoms.
But Mr. Navalny’s allies have scrapped further protests following the detention of more than 6,000 in the recent demonstrations as well as police violence against the protesters—factors that could make it more difficult to keep mobilizing followers.
Instead, his movement will focus on parliamentary elections this September, when his backers hope to unseat the ruling United Russia party loyal to President Vladimir Putin.
The rallies triggered a crackdown by authorities, as police beat protesters and detained thousands, including many top allies of the opposition leader. That use of force risked putting average Russians who had gravitated to the movement on a dangerous path to confrontation with the Kremlin, said Leonid Volkov, one of Mr. Navalny’s top lieutenants.
“Tens of millions of people watched with horror as [Mr. Putin] showed he was ready to beat peaceful unarmed protesters with his storm troopers,” said Mr. Volkov in a video to supporters Thursday.