On March 10, employees of the opposition radio “Echo Moskvy” witnessed a strange sight out of their Moscow office windows. On the building across the street, someone had put up a giant, three-story-high poster clearly meant to get their attention.
The poster featured portraits of several leading opposition figures, including activist Alexei Navalny, writer Dmitri Bykov, and singer Andrei Makarevich. Alongside each picture was a controversial quote attributed to the opposition figures, such as “Most of the Russian population is incapable of doing anything, there’s no use in trying to reeducate them, they don’t want to work. Let Russian society become a drunkard and die of old age" (Bykov) or “Ever since the Tatar-Mongol Yoke, the Russians are used to throwing trash on the ground” (Makarevich).
This poster was put up by pro-Putin caricature site Glavplakat, which confessed to the stunt on their website, writing: “According to these people [on the poster], their point of view is the only point of view, the only TV channel we should watch is their [opposition] channel, the only radio we should listen to is their [opposition] radio, and the only fair elections are the ones that they win”.
This stunt created a lot of buzz on Russian social media networks, and deeply divided commenters.
Some agreed with Glavplakat’s message:
But for others, it backfired:
This is not the first time Glavplakat carries out such stunts. A year ago, they put up a big poster comparing opposition members to characters in the film “Alien”, writing: “The aliens walk among us.” The opposition activists in question had spoken out against Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In January, Glavplakat had put up another Aliens-themed poster accusing other activists of supporting sanctions against Russia.