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Moscow Police To Be Punished For Detaining 'Blue-Bucket' Activists

Officers detain a "blue bucket" activist in Moscow on May 2.
Officers detain a "blue bucket" activist in Moscow on May 2.
MOSCOW -- Moscow police say that the police officers who falsely detained "blue bucket" activists during a recent protest will be punished, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Federation of Russian Car Owners (FAR) organized what it called an "extended stroll" of "blue-bucket" activists in Moscow's Kitay-Gorod district on May 12. At least 10 of the activists were detained by police and spent several hours in custody.

The activists who participated in the "extended stroll" did not carry placards or chant any slogans. But they wore buckets on their head in the same shade of blue as the sirens that are placed atop cars used by top government officials and businesspeople to quickly maneuver through bad traffic.

Such siren-sporting vehicles have caused several deadly traffic accidents across in Russia.

Police detained the "blue-bucket" protesters for holding an unsanctioned mass gathering.

But the detainees argued that they did not need to obtain permission from authorities because they did not carry any signs or chant any slogans. Police officials eventually agreed with that argument.

FAR members held an organized driving protest against the sirens in April during which dozens of people put blue buckets on their cars to simulate the sirens.