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Siberian City Says No Protests By 'Toys Of Foreign Origin'

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

A previous toy protest in Barnaul in January

A previous toy protest in Barnaul in January

Authorities in the Russian Siberian city of Barnaul have rejected an application for a protest involving toys.

Barnaul protest organizers sought permission to hold the action after local authorities declared last week that it is illegal to organize such actions without official permission.

Activists in Barnaul twice in January organized protests in which hundreds of teddy bears, Transformers, and Lego figurines bearing anti-Kremlin slogans and calling for fair elections were displayed in the city’s main square.

Speaking about the rejection of the demonstration application, Andrei Lyapunov of the Barnaul administration told the organizers that “inanimate subjects such as toys cannot take part in public protest actions -- especially the toys of foreign origin.”

In the Belarusian capital, Minsk, youth activists said police on February 10 confiscated stuffed animals that they were using in a similar antigovernment protest.