Botox inspires Russia protest slogans

2012-03-09 10:05
A poster with a picture of Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, reading "Another 12 years? No, thank you!" is seen on a manhole after an unsanctioned opposition rally in front of the Russian Central Election Commission he

A poster with a picture of Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin, reading "Another 12 years? No, thank you!" is seen on a manhole after an unsanctioned opposition rally in front of the Russian Central Election Commission he

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Witty and making bold contemporary references, the banners that mocked Vladimir Putin in mass protests have already coined famous new slogans and even become the subject of a Moscow exhibition.

Taking inspiration from subjects as diverse as the Harry Potter novels and cosmetic surgery, the slogans brought a sense of fun to the protests and ripped apart taboos over criticising the Russian strongman in public.

Many protesters brought homemade banners to a full-scale exhibition at trendy Moscow arts centre Artplay which provided a kind of retrospective of the protests that started after fraud-tainted December 4 parliamentary elections.

"We have three demands: Fair elections, freedom of assembly and - let's stick to two," reads one banner at the exhibition, which is titled You don't even represent us.

"If Russia's so United, why am I so alone?" reads a T-shirt slogan, referring to the increasingly unloved ruling party United Russia.

"No Putin, No Cry," reads another much-quoted banner.

Botox of the people

Worlds away from the stilted language of old-style activists and Communists, many of the banners take digs at Russian strongman Putin, alleging he uses Botox to preserve his looks, in a rumour sweeping the internet.

The Russian word for Botox has even become a hashtag for Putin on Twitter social networking site.

"Volodya, save your face!" one reads, using the familiar version of Putin's first name.

"How much is the Botox of the people?" says another, paraphrasing Marx's famous remark about religion being the opium of the people.

At an opposition protest the day after the election, protesters instantly adjusted their slogans to include Putin's unexpected tears at a victory rally after March 4 presidential elections.

"Moscow does not believe in tears," was the favourite slogan, the title of a well-loved Soviet film drama along with "Moscow doesn't believe in crocodile tears" and "12 years of tears", referring to Putin's possible future two term presidency.

The wizard

Other slogans cite and twist Putin's pithy sayings, such as his boast that he works like a "galley slave".

"Putin, get out of the galley. It's already on the rocks," one says.

The head of the widely criticised central electoral commission, Vladimir Churov, is also a target, with his cuddly beard and way with numbers giving him the nickname of "the wizard".

"Send Wizard Churov to Azkaban" another says, referring to a magical prison in JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.

"There's no room for a wizard in the Central Electoral Commission," reads a placard attached to a balloon showing a Disney fairy.

Curator Mikhail Ratgauz of website, wrote in his introduction to the exhibition that what made the latest protests different is that they are about individuals putting forward their points of view, not a faceless crowd.

Visual campaigning

"A crowd can't be witty. It's always a person who is witty," he said.

Anthropologist Mikhail Alexeyevsky contributed the placard reading "There's no room for a wizard in the Central Electoral Commission," which he took along to the first mass rally in Moscow in his first experience of activism.

"I realised what to do: To carry balloons to the rally but stick posters on them," he said. "On the one hand, it's a peaceful protest. On the other hand it's an unusual kind of visual campaigning."

"People photographed us all the time. A lot of people came up and said it was witty and laughed. In a word, the reaction was only positive."

"Educated, successful, creative people come to these rallies, people who don't like being just part of a faceless crowd," he said.

"They want to keep their individuality. They want to have the right to their own voice. And homemade posters turned out to be the ideal solution."

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  russia protests

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.


LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

It's Flash Sale Friday – one day only!

Buy 3 & get the cheapest 1 FREE: On selected DVDs, Blu-rays, series and music. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.