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Russian Taxi Passengers Seemingly Forced To Smear Faces With Green Antiseptic In Fare Dispute

Police in Russia’s Far East are investigating an incident in which a taxi driver appeared to force a woman to smear her face with a green antiseptic known as “zelyonka” after she failed to pay the fare.

A video of the incident in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk was posted on Instagram on August 27. It shows a man appearing to pressure a female passenger who emerges from a taxi into rubbing the antiseptic, which leaves a deep green stain, on her face.

Two other people seen in the video -- a man and a woman who were also reportedly passengers in the taxi -- also appear to have applied the zelyonka on themselves.

A voice coming from off camera can be heard saying in a mocking voice: “You’ll be on YouTube today.”

The Interfax news agency cited a representative of the local Maksim taxi company as saying on August 28 that the driver had been fired and that the firm had launched an “internal probe.”

The representative said the three passengers had run up a 2,000-ruble ($34) fare that they did not pay, adding that the driver should have either taken the issue to the company or to the police.

A city police spokesman said that authorities on August 28 had opened a probe into the incident, adding that the passengers had not filed a complaint with police.

Zelyonka has become a notorious weapon in assaults against Kremlin opponents.

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny underwent eye surgery in Spain in May due to an injury he suffered when he was splashed with the antiseptic in an attack.

Based on reporting by Interfax,, and
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