The George Floyd effect transcends borders. The movement sparked by the 46-year-old Black man’s death at the hands of police has even reached Russia, a place long known for official brutality, from Soviet times to President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly autocratic regime. Now more Russians are calling out brutality on social media, particularly the killing of an alleged wallpaper thief in Yekaterinburg, who was either armed to the teeth or, as his father claims, wielding only pepper spray. Last week, #RussianLivesMatter was topping Russian Twitter, and protesters carrying placards reading “My police are killing me” swarmed Moscow’s city police department before some two dozen were arrested.
OZY examines Russian police impunity.