The purpose of the protests that Navalny pushed for to be moved to the areas of the parades and shows, was to simply make it look like something else in western media. And it worked. At least for Western Media concept.
When reality is:
The problem is, Navalny did it so that the average dumbass from the western world would see that "oh look at all these protestors! There are hundreds of thousands of us." But reality was, in Moscow there was about 4,500 - in St.Petersburg there was about 3,500 and a mixture of some few hundreds in other cities. Some would give it a total of around 30,000 in all of Russia. Now let us do the math on that:
I will go easy and give Navalny camp another 10 thousand people just because I am a nice asshole: 40,000 people protested in a nation of 146 million people (there are more people in Russia but I am rounding it down to 146M). So that is: 0.0274% of the total population of Russia. Let us do it vs 1 city alone - Moscow: 0.3% of the population of Moscow alone which consists by 2011 figures as 13M people. Reality, Moscow is much larger with the suburbs added in and total amount of migrants (illegal and legal) making the greater area of the city roughly 15+ Million.
When Levada poll did a poll on Navalny's support, it came out to 2% of the respondents would vote for him, even though now way more people know who Navalny is: http://www.levada.ru/2017/04/06/aktsii-protesta-26-marta-i-navalnyj/