Russian Political Astroturf Is Back

2017/4/12 15:20:06

Young men protest outside Navalny's jail on April 10, 2017.


Photo: Alexey Abanin / Twitter

From Global Voices, Posted 11 April 2017 12:42 GMT 


Before Alexey Navalny was released from jail on Monday, a staged “student demonstration” was making headlines to spoil his public return. Navalny, the unofficial leader of Russia’s unofficial political opposition, went free after serving 15 days behind bars for disobeying police officers during a protest in late March.


Outside Navalny’s jail, a small group of young men gathered, holding signs complaining that he had promised them 10,000 euros and never delivered. “You promised? You deceived!” said one poster. “When do we get the 10,000 euros???” another man’s sign read. After letting them pose for some photos, officers soon escorted the men into a police van.


The posters referred to “RosEvroSud” (Russian Euro Court), a project Navalny launched to facilitate appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Ahead of surprisingly well-attended nationwide protests on March 26, Navalny told demonstrators that his team would make RosEvroSud available to anyone unlawfully detained and fined during the rallies that weekend. In his public appeal, Navalny suggested that each person wrongfully prosecuted could win 10,000 euros in the ECHR.


Ilias Merkuri, a writer and “Anti-Maidan” activist who once trolled Russian oppositionists as a masked character named “Dick Riot,” tweeted photos from outside the jail on Monday, and his images appeared hours later in the Russian media, including in the pro-Kremlin tabloid “Life,” which ran a story with the headline “‘Lyosha, Where’s the Cash?’ Schoolchildren Demand Promised Rewards From Navalny.”


[…] ... itical-astroturf-is-back/





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