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Eye-Popping Signs From Russia's Opposition Protests


An opposition rally in Novosibirsk on June 12, one of scores of such demonstrations organized by Aleksei Navalny and his allies.

Protesters who took to the streets in Russia on June 12 to rally against corruption brandished signs mocking the country’s ruling elite, echoing the wry and meme-heavy humor of the organizer of the nationwide demonstrations, opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

Much of the protesters' anger and sarcasm was directed at Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, whom Navalny accused of corruption in a viral video that has garnered more than 22 million views on YouTube since it was released in March.

One ubiquitous feature of the protests, which began in Russia’s Far East on June 12 and were set to culminate in a potential confrontation with police in central Moscow later in the day, was a rubber duck -- a reference to reports that the Russian prime minister had a special house for a duck on one of his properties.

Medvedev, who has brushed off Navalny’s accusations that he controls lavish real estate and other assets though corrupt dealings as "false statements of political adventurers," wasn’t the only target of protesters’ anger.

President Vladimir Putin was also accused of corruption, an allegation the Kremlin denies, with some protesters accusing Medvedev and the Russian leader of “stealing” the country’s future.

Here’s a look at some of the signs that protesters wielded to vent their opposition to the government.

Signs in Irkutsk:

Left: "Our hearts demand change," a lyric from a Perestroika-era anthem by the Soviet group Kino, fronted by the iconic late rock star Viktor Tsoi.

Bottom right: "Corruption robs the future."

In Kazan: The sign on the left says: “Tea. Coffee. Wine from Tuscany,” a reference to an Italian winery that Navalny alleges is linked to Medvedev through corrupt dealings.

Sign on the right: “You stole $70 billion.” “But I made a house for a duck.” “Fully acquitted!”

In Krasnoyarsk: "I want a house like the ducks'."

In Novosibirsk: "OK, Google, how do we hide our wealth?"

In Kemerovo: “Vova [President Vladimir Putin] to jail.” Vova is a nickname for Vladimir, presumably a reference to President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm still waiting for a response," says this sign, which features a hashtag of the title of Navalny’s now-famous video accusing Medvedev against the backdrop of Zhdun, a character popularized in an Internet meme.

“Sell the dachas, build roads,” a reference to lavish real estate Navalny accuses Medvedev of controlling and reports that the Russian prime minister had a special house for a duck on one of his properties.

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