Government - Navalny (Involuntarily) Goes Green For Campaign
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny may not be showing his true colors as much as his new color, after a hooligan doused his face with a green liquid at a campaign stop in Siberia.
Navalny is known for his sarcastic sense of humor and quickly posted the result of the confrontation on his Twitter account, noting that he looks like Jim Carrey's character from the movie "The Mask". Video shows Navalny on the street on Barnaul, way off in the boondocks - when a man threw the disinfectant in his face before dashing off, staining it vivid bluish green.
"Maybe they in the Kremlin believe that I won't make video addresses with a green face but I will definitely make them because even more people will watch them and it definitely won't stop me," Navalny said in a video. "I appeal to everyone: take part in rallies against corruption across the country on March 26. We will definitely win!"
The liquid was identified as an antiseptic that is readily available in Russian pharmacies. It's the latest in a long string of dirty tricks against Navalny's campaign to unseat Russian President Vladimir Putin, tricks that have usually been confined to tossed eggs or unjustified closures of campaign venues.
Other critics of Vladimir Putin have met more grisly ends. Two years ago, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in front of the Kremlin. Vladimir Kara-Murza has slipped in and out of coma this year, the second time he was poisoned by suspected Kremlin agents. Alexander Litvinenko was a former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and Putin opponent who was famously poisoned with radioactive isotopes in London in 2006.
More seriously for Mr. Navalny, Russian authorities charged and convicted him on corruption allegations. This month a court handed him a five-year suspended sentence on embezzlement charges, after the original verdict was ruled flawed by the European Court of Human Rights. Navalny says the prosecution was political and intended to block his political activity.
Technically, the conviction makes him ineligible to run for president; but he's continuing his campaign to replace Putin anyway, saying that at this point the campaign is meant more to point out the corruption and rigging in Russian politics.