A Zelyonka attack is a form of protest, provocation or violent assault, defined as the act of throwing a solution of brilliant green zelyonka (Russian: зелёнка), an antiseptic dye, on the body (usually face) of another. In the 2010s this kind of attack became widespread in Russia and Ukraine.
Zelyonka is an antiseptic dye that was widely used medically up until the decline of the Soviet Union. The dye, often used as a milder alternative to iodine, is still available in Russian pharmacies.
Victims and influence
The victims of zelyonka attacks are usually Russian opposition leaders: including Sergey Mitrokhin, Mikhail Kasyanov, Alexei Navalny — and Ukrainian politicians (Arsen Avakov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Oleh Lyashko).
As a result of numerous attacks, part of the Russian opposition leaders began to use zelyonka and green color as a "badge of honor". After Navalny was attacked in Barnaul, dozens of his supporters posted online photos of themselves "in green" (#GreenNavalny), and blogger Nikolai Danilov, who came to Red Square with a face covered with green colour, was detained by the police. When Kasyanov was attacked on the Nemtsov memorial march, the demonstrants began to cry out: "You won't pour zelyonka over us!"
On May 4, 2017, Alexei Navalny stated that the incidents involving zelyonka helped to raise money to his fund. On the same day, Russian poet Dmitry Bykov published a poem "Vivat, Green Russia!", in which green color was named as the color of "Russian revolution".
Numerous attacks on famous personalities, accompanied by photographs of people who were poured, forced the media to explain to their readers, most of whom are not familiar with brilliant green, what "zelyonka" is.
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