Supporters of opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, who is currently under house arrest on suspicion of plotting to incite riots, on Friday paid a 35,000-ruble fine imposed on the Left Front leader with eight large satchels of coins.
The coins, with a combined weight of over 70 kilograms, were brought to a Sberbank branch on Nikitsky Bulvar, Lenta.ru reported. The coins served as payment for a fine imposed on Udaltsov by an Ulyanovsk court for allegedly assaulting a Young Guard activist at a rally last year.
A video posted on YouTube on Friday shows a group of Udaltsov's supporters unloading sacks of coins and presenting them at the bank as policemen look on. The lowest-denominated coins — 10 kopecks — were shown scattered on the ground in front of the bank.
The activists decided to pay in coins to highlight the "miserly" way that the government has gone after the opposition, one Udaltsov supporter said in the video.
"The government is always nit-picking, searching for some kind of foothold, ignoring common sense and hanging all kinds of accusations on us to criminalize us," he said.
In response to such "penny-wise" methods, the activists decided to pay in pennies, he said, adding that Sberbank has machines for counting coins now, so the method of payment shouldn't be a major inconvenience.