Ducks become the symbol of Medvedev’s alleged “corrupt empire”: St Petersburg demonstrates against Russian Prime Minister

(Photo credit: Francesca Visser)

An unauthorised demonstration took place in St Petersburg today amid allegations of corruption directed at Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

By Francesca Visser & Shima Vezvaei

The unauthorised demonstration against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took place today on Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, just a few steps away from Palace Square. The protest, organised by the youth democratic movement Vesna, gathered an estimated 40 people, five of which were detained and are yet to be released.

The participants held banners featuring a bright yellow duck, a symbol of the recent scandal that saw the prime minister accused of corruption.

The demonstration was under heavy surveillance by units of the Federal Police (OMON), which blocked the street from both sides and filmed the participants.

Among the detained—once again—was 78-year-old Igor Andreev, a notorious St Petersburg activist who holds the yearly record for most detentions, according to the demonstrators.

(Yellow duck, a symbol of the recent scandal that saw the prime minister accused of corruption. Photo credit: Shima Vezvaei)

Medvedev’s scandal

On 2 March, opposition leader Alexei Navalny published an investigation into Medvedev’s alleged secret luxury properties in Russia and Italy, with a net worth of up to $1.2 billion. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) claimed that the Russian Prime Minister created “a network of figureheads and dummy corporations” including his family members, friends, and charity organisations. The report presents photographs which suggest that these properties were used by Medvedev himself.

However, the claims are yet to be proven from a legal point of view.

“From a journalistic point of view, it is evidence, but from a legal point of view, of course not. The FBK has outlined a scheme, i.e. something lying on the surface. It made suppositions but it did not prove them, it did not provide substantial evidence,” said Denis Primakov, a lawyer for Transparency International Russia in an interview with RBTH.

At present, the video on Navalny’s YouTube channel has received almost 6 million views, a staggeringly large number when compared to other videos from the opposition leader’s personal channel.

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