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Moscow City Duma Candidate 'Warned' With Headless Teddy Bear Threat

A screen grab from the Facebook video in which nationalist Moscow City Duma deputy Anton Medvedev made his announcement.
A screen grab from the Facebook video in which nationalist Moscow City Duma deputy Anton Medvedev made his announcement.

Moscow City Duma deputy Anton Medvedev says he found a headless teddy bear splashed with red paint and a note saying "Think it over" in the hall of his apartment complex in what he characterized as an attempt to make him withdraw from Moscow's municipal elections in September.

Medvedev wrote on Facebook that unknown individuals left the items and splashed the walls with the paint resembling blood on July 29.

Medvedev is a member of nationalist State Duma deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).

"I consider the incident as directly connected with my active social position and my activities as a council member," Medvedev wrote, adding that other members of the Moscow City Duma had received similar messages in the past.

Organized criminal groups sometimes leave the heads or bodies of real decapitated animals at the homes of individuals as a warning message or as a threat.

The use of a teddy bear in the July 29 outside of Medvedev's apartment was seen as targeting him for a warning because "medved" means "bear" in Russian.

The teddy bear incident outside Medvedev's home took place two days after police violently detained more than 1,300 demonstrators in an attempt to disperse their protest against the refusal of election officials to register several opposition figures as candidates in Moscow's September 8 municipal elections.

​Several opposition figures and would-be candidates were among those detained.

Ahead of the July 27 protest, the homes of several would-be candidates were also searched by police. Some were summoned for questioning about what authorities described as hampering the work of Moscow election officials.

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