Not only are human protests quelled by the Kremlin, but also ones by toys. The more digging I do, the absurdistan that is Russia just keeps getting more ridiculous. In 2012, Russian authorities banned a protest by toys that were set up on a display holding signs condemning the Putin regime. The Guardian reported:
There hadn’t been many – indeed any – rallies like it before in Russia. Last month saw dozens of toys, from teddy bears to Lego figurines, standing out in the snow of a Siberian city with banners complaining about corruption and electoral malpractice.
At the time, Russian authorities in Barnaul declared the protest “an unsanctioned public event”.
Now a petition to hold another protest featuring 100 Kinder Surprise toys, 100 Lego people, 20 model soldiers, 15 soft toys and 10 toy cars has been rejected because the toys have been deemed not to be “citizens of Russia”.
“As you understand, toys, especially imported toys, are not only not citizens of Russia but they are not even people,” Andrei Lyapunov, a spokesman for Barnaul, told local media.
At the last rally, baffled police did not know what to do with the toys, which held up banners with the words: “I’m for clean elections,” and “A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin.” After taking photographs and video of the plastic offenders, they asked prosecutors to investigate its legality.
It seems no one and nothing has the right to free speech in Putin’s Russia.