Russian Police Cast Wary Eye on Toy Protest

What's good for the human is good for the toy, apparently — at least in Russia. Police in the Siberian city of Barnaul are investigating the legality of election protests in which toys — among them dolls, stuffed animals and Lego figurines — were propped up with protest signs bearing messages like "I'm for clean elections." The toy protests, or "nano meetings," occurred twice this month in response to police breaking up similar protests by actual people last month. Now, police are asking city prosecutors to probe the gatherings of toys. "This is still an unsanctioned public event," said the deputy police chief. One prosecutor labeled the toys "agitation material," according to state media. "People are not stupid," he added. "The figurines did not come there by themselves." Protest organizers have called the inquiry absurd. Cities in Russia saw widespread demonstrations last month over allegations of electoral fraud.

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