Activists in several cities had critical messages for Putin, who turned 66 on October 7.
In his hometown, St. Petersburg, activists stretched a big banner across a central street with block letters wishing Putin “long years in prison,” a play on a traditional Russia birthday greeting.
The traditional birthday wish, translated literally, is “long years of life (to you).” The activists simply replaced “life” with “prison.” Quite civilized of them: seeking justice, not wishing for the adversary’s speedy expiry.
(Niceties such as “Please Just Die Already” would run afoul of Russia’s “anti-extremist” legislation. Also, personal animus sounds immature, and – above all – the young may not even have it. They don’t hate the man – they want to hold him to account.)
Obviously, the same act wouldn’t take much courage and so wouldn’t count for much in a reasonably free-speech country.