June 12th is the national holiday in Russia. This year on June 12th the Russian opposition decided to organize a row of protest rallies in different Russia’s cities.
Called “March of Millions” (similarly to the demonstration held before Putin’s inauguration) the rally fell short of expectations in regards of the number of participants [54 thousands according to one computerized evaluation].
Partly, because some of the protest leaders didn’t come (Navalny, for example, was called for interrogation by police); and partly because of the bad weather: from time to time the event was interrupted by heavy rain.
Some people joked that Putin might have caused the rain in order to “hit” the opposition.
Very soon, however, this joke has transformed into a full-fledged conspiracy theory.
Translated from the site of popular Russian blogger and deputy:
Yesterday’s rain was not accidental? Need the help of experts!
My friends-chemists called. They said that yesterday they collected some rain [water] and today analyzed it in the laboratory. Got the result – an abnormally high concentration of silver iodide. It seems that our yesterday’s joke about Putin and the rain was not a joke.
I just don’t know what to do with this information? It seems that we don’t have any law forbidding to pour rain on the [protest] rally? And how in any case it can be proved?
Comments of Russian netizens
In one day this post got about one thousand comments. Below are some of them.
Stepanychver2 0: Article 149. Interference in holding meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches, picketing.
[Note: commenter quoted the article of Russia's Criminal Codex]
xs17: I have information on this case. They used aircraft [to spray silver iodide] invisible to radars and eyes.
Anonymous: As far as I know, silver iodide is used to disperse the clouds. Science doesn’t know the ways to make rains at a certain place.
ilya_ponomarev (replying to the comment above): They are dispersed by artificial rainmaking in one place so that the clouds don’t gather over other places.
herrfotograf: This morning I was shocked. My boots, baseball cap and T-shirt were covered with silver! Going to protest rallies is not just useful but also profitable!
tarusjanka: It is not clear yet what this KGB-shnik [ed: Putin] prepared for protesters – maybe our hair will come out, or something else terrible will happen – one should expect anything.
Oleg Dikunov: Your brains will leak out. Although, the opposition’s brains have leaked out already long time ago.
ivanzhabin: I guess that this [information] should be forwarded to Moscow ecologists to study it and make the detailed report. This case must be carried out to the end, because if something nasty falls on citizens it is bad. And not acceptable by law – waste of money on the rain, need official report why it was done.
laggy_mari: And your friends-chemists can tell whether it may be related to the yesterday’s rain that my eyes ache terribly? Unfortunately, I didn’t have umbrella yesterday.
drel_matador: And also they added bromine to the rain, so that the opposition does not reproduce.
sgorelov83: My friends-aviators told me that for this purpose few dozens of airplanes were rented and the members of Nashi were spraying the chemicals with bare hands (!). Some were even urinating through the open door.
the_nort (reacting to the comment above): So, it wasn’t rain!