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20 Mar, 2017 15:43

Opposition figure Navalny attacked with antiseptic dye

Opposition figure Navalny attacked with antiseptic dye

Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny was smeared with green antiseptic dye during his visit to the city of Barnaul. Police have launched a probe into the attack, but no one has claimed responsibility.

“A dude was meeting me at the entrance to our headquarters, he stretched out his hand and I approached him cheerfully intending to shake it. But he sprayed me from a bulb syringe, quite accurately hitting my eyes. It stung and I thought with horror that it was acid, but it was nothing – just brilliant green!” Navalny wrote in his blog. (Brilliant green is an aniline dye used by Russian doctors as anti-septic and a protective film for treating minor wounds. As with any aniline dye, it is very hard to remove).

Navalny arrived in southern Siberia’s city of Barnaul to participate in the opening of his NGO, Foundation for Fighting Corruption.

In a blog report on the incident, Navalny wrote that his attacker had gotten into a car “that took him to the local administration office,” without specifying the source of this information.

The activist and his allies called the police to file an official complaint and gave investigators a video of the attack, information from the car’s license plate, and the bulb syringe.

Local police told reporters that they needed to thoroughly examine the scene of the supposed crime before deciding what crime they should be investigating.

Shortly before the brilliant green incident, several unidentified persons hurled eggs at Navalny as he was speaking at a protest rally in Novosibirsk. The participants were demanding that the local governor cancel a 15 percent hike in utility fees, while threatening to push for his dismissal if he doesn’t comply.

Navalny is one of three politicians that have already declared their intention to run for the Russian presidency in 2018. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the head of the Liberal-Democratic Party, and Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder of the Yabloko Party, are the other two. Under Russian law, Navalny technically cannot run because he is currently serving a five-year sentence that won’t expire before the next election, but the activist has vowed to contest this rule in the Constitutional Court.