Video of a Russian student removing a portrait of President Vladimir Putin from her classroom wall has gone viral – a day before planned protests against the imprisonment of poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, according to a report.
Alina Morozova, a student from Yaroslavl who is believed to be 16, was ordered to go to a police station with her father to explain her act of defiance, East2West News reported.
Videos of schoolchildren replacing Putin’s portraits in their classrooms with Navalny’s have gone viral on TikTok.
The teenager apparently didn’t break any laws by removing the strongman’s photo, so, at least for now, faces no punishment, according to the outlet.
“Alexei Navalny’s arrest resonated not only among young people, but also among adults,” Alina, who posted a video of her act on TikTok, told Open Media.
“On TikTok, that resonance is impossible not to notice – while screaming, even jokes about it pop up,” she said. “I didn’t think the video would get 2 million views at all.”
The young girl added that her teacher and the school principal confronted her about her actions.
“They all had different opinions about my act, and they have a right to do it,” the teenager said.
But the president’s portrait, by law, is not a state symbol, she said, explaining why it is not illegal to remove it.
“With my video, I expressed my civic position to which everyone at school is entitled,” Alina said.
But her teachers eventually reported her to the police, Alina added, saying they had had a “preventive conversation” with her about the incident.
Russia’s Education Ministry issued a statement urging parents to “protect” their children from events scheduled for Saturday, saying “no one has the right to drag young people into various political actions and provocations.”
Meanwhile, Moscow police arrested three senior Navalny associates on Thursday evening.
Spokeswoman for jailed dissident Kira Yarmysh was ordered to spend nine days behind bars on Friday, while Georgy Alburov was jailed for 10 days.
Navalny’s close ally Lyubov Sobol was released Thursday evening but ordered by a court to pay a fine equivalent to $ 3,300. All three were accused of breaking protest rules.
More than a dozen activists and Navalny allies in several Russian regions were also arrested.
With protests planned by his supporters on Saturday, Russia’s attorney general’s office and police have issued public warnings against participating in or calling for unauthorized rallies.
Prosecutors also called on Roskomnadzor, the Russian media and internet watchdog, to restrict access to websites containing calls for protest.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that “it is natural that there are warnings … about the possible consequences of breaking the law”, as there are calls for ” unauthorized and illegal events ”.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin urged residents not to attend a rally, citing coronavirus concerns, and called the protest “illegal.”
Navalny was arrested on his return from Germany to Russia on Sunday, where he had spent nearly five months recovering from nerve poisoning he attributes to the Kremlin.
On Monday, a judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail in connection with alleged violations of a suspended prison sentence in a embezzlement case he said was trumped up.
With pole wires