A group of men in the southern Russian city of Stavropol have attacked Russian opposition blogger Ilya Varlamov twice in a single day.
The blogger had travelled to Stavropol as part of an ongoing tour around Russia's provincial cities, where he often criticized the local authorities for mismanagement and corruption.
The men ambushed Varlamov at the airport on Wednesday morning, pretending to offer him flowers before punching him and pelting him with green ink and flour.
Varlamov then posted a selfie of himself covered in green ink on social media.
“I came out of the airport, there was a group of people I did not know standing there. I did not understand what was happening. They attacked me, threw 'zelenka [a bright green antiseptic ink]', iodine and some other substance in my eyes and threw cake at me. Everything was flying but I did not see much because of what they threw at my eyes. They did not say anything, just shouted: 'Go back to your America!' once and ran away.”
The blogger says the incident happened in the presence of the police, who did not catch his attackers.
It isn't the first time that opposition leaders have been attacked with the green antiseptic ink.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was also recently attacked zelenka during his visit to Krasnodar last month, wrote on Twitter: “Who are these animals? And they are not scared of police, they feel that they have their support.”
In another blog post, Varlamov
published photographs of the policemen who witnessed the incident. He
wrote: “I think the policemen did do anything in order to detain
the attackers. They could have easily stopped one of them, but they
let them go. The attackers then calmly ran towards the city center.”
He also posted photographs which he managed to take of the alleged attackers before the incident.
A few hours later, still in Stavropol, Varlamov was attacked again. “We are being followed, the car is being attacked by people who look like bandits,” he wrote on his blog.
Zelenka (which is sometimes translated as "Brilliant Green" in English) has been increasingly used in Russia as a form of intimidation. As well as being used against politician Alexei Navalny, it has also been used against human rights defenders and journalists.