On November 17, during the celebration of the Day of Freedom and Democracy in one of the central squares in Prague, the Czech capital, the Kaputin group held a protest against the dictatorial regimes of the leaders of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. The protesters put a “golden” toilet bowl on the square, on which they placed pre-made puppets resembling the leaders of Russia and Belarus. The activists also unfolded a banner with the inscription “Putin, hands off Ukraine”. This was reported by Radio Liberty.
“Thirty-two years ago the Velvet Revolution took place, freeing us from occupation by the Soviet Union. It was a victory of democracy and the right to free expression. With this action, we want to once again draw attention and remind of the modern dictators – Putin and Lukashenko, who are intimidating the democratic world with their actions in Ukraine and the rest of Europe. We want to warn Czechs and the rest of the world about the threats posed by the hybrid warfare of these two regimes,” Otakar Van Hemund, the organizer of the protest and founder of the Kaputin activist group.
Protesters staged a performance at one of the stages from which they proclaimed the achievements of Czech democracy at the time of independence. Many tourists and Czech citizens had their pictures taken with puppets of Putin and Lukashenko.
Members of the Kaputin group have been staging various protests against Russian influence in Europe in the Czech Republic since 2014. Among them was the action “Putin’s puppet”, dedicated to President Milos Zeman, and other numerous protests outside the Russian embassy, such as the “Green Men”.
The Day of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy commemorates the repression of students by the Nazis in 1939 and the dispersal of a student demonstration at the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.