“And in demonstrations, in gatherings,
Your rights are guaranteed.
And to participate in meetings
You are always free.”
– A version of the Russian Constitution recently written in verse for children.
Protests for free and fair elections continue, and many people have been arrested and injured over the past few weeks in Moscow. Read about the 17-year-old girl who became the symbol of the protests by reading the Russian Constitution to policemen, and take a look at one artist’s take on the protests.
1. The “heartfelt” feelings of Soviet sailors had been bottled up for exactly fifty years, until an American from Alaska found their message in a bottle. The writers were part of the Far Eastern Shipping Company based in Vladivostok, and asked whoever found the message to get in touch with the whole crew. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the writers probably thought that ship had sailed and the bottle was forever lost at the sea. As it turns out, however, their wishes for good health, long life, and happy sailing were at last fatefully received by a citizen of the Soviet Union’s arch enemy, who happened to have studied enough Russian to recognize Cyrillic and recite a bit of Russian poetry to his curious children.
2. Putin has been getting hell for lacking a helmet at a biker show organized by the motorcycle club the Night Wolves. A Russian lawyer and a Crimean Oblast Council deputy complained about the issue on Facebook, and the latter sent a formal letter to the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office, requesting that the issue be investigated and Putin be fined $15. This isn’t the first time Putin has neglected his safety on a moving vehicle, ignoring seat belts and life jackets. Given that this happened against the backdrop of much bigger issues, like the simultaneous protests in Moscow, and the whole Crimea thing, something tells me Putin will ride out this moto-scandal just fine.
3. Help for the elderly is growing in Yekaterinburg. A businessman started selling the food products grown by pensioners on special shelves in his food store, which will help keep them from having to sit outside in the heat and cold, trying to earn some extra money. He has previously used the store, appropriately called Zhiznmart (“Lifemart”), for other good deeds, such as selling expired food products and leftover food to the hungry.
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