Socialite and opposition figure Kseniya Sobchak has accused a woman of falsely claiming to be a fed-up resident of the Chistiye Prudy neighborhood where protesters have spent several days in an interview with state-owned television station Channel One.
"I do not understand why the government, our government, will not use force against them," Nina Toporova told Channel One. "In the end, we are protecting human rights? But excuse me, who will protect my rights? … [The protesters] sleep on the grass day and night, they defecate where they want and how they want."
But it turns out the 72-year old woman actually lives kilometers from the area being occupied by protesters, and even chairs the veteran organization of a different city district. The woman is also a member of the dominant United Russia party and received an award for being active in the city's election commission, RBC reported.
Opposition figures blasted the woman for speaking in the interview, and Twitter lit up with disaproving comments.
Sobchak proposed that the woman be sued under a libel law that carries a punishment of three to six months in jail.
"St.129 Part 2 'Slander, contained in public speech or media,' punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months." Shall we punish the on-call old lady? Sobchak wrote in twitter.
Sobchak denied protesters were disturbing the peace in the Chistiye Prudy neighborhood.
In another incident, an elderly neighborhood resident said she was struck after she asked a protester to remove his white ribbon, a symbol widely used by opposition protesters, RBC reported. Police arrested the man, who said he merely "waved away" the woman.