Olga Misik is the New Symbol of the Russian Resistance

A 17-year-old read the Russian constitution in front of riot police at a pro-democracy protest in Moscow — then she was arrested along with nearly 1,400 other demonstrators. Now, she's quickly becoming a symbol of the Russian resistance. 🇷🇺

Russian government's illegal prohibition of opposition candidates

She’s 17 years old and she’s the new symbol of Russian resistance. During pro-democracy protests in Moscow, in front of riot police, Olga Misik read the Russian constitution, which affirms the right to peaceful demonstrations. The photo of Misik has since gone viral. Olga Misik, joined thousands of people in Moscow to protest the Russian government's illegal prohibition of opposition candidates. Many candidates have been barred from running in local elections. “After the SWAT pushed back the protesters, I sat on the ground and continued to read our constitutional rights, clarifying, that what was happening was illegal.”

Demonstrators protested on July 27, 2019 demanding that opposition members be allowed to run in upcoming Moscow City Duma elections. Nearly 1,400 protestors were detained by the police according to the political monitoring group OVD-Info. Misik arrived with friends early in the afternoon to protest. After being separated from one another she eventually came close to the front row of riot police. Reading and waving the constitution around is a common form of protest in Russia, as it's meant to highlight Vladimir Putin's alleged dismissal of Article 31 — the right to free assembly. “We are here so that the independent candidates, for whom we have left our signatures, would be allowed to participate in the election. They should take part and the citizens should vote. If they were allowed… Let people decide for themselves who will represent them. That is, it.”

Misik was allowed to leave following the reading. Later at a subway station she was approached by unidentified officers who detained and arrested her. Misik says she was held for 12 hours. Reports show she was held for a day and now must appear in court to contest the charge of "attending a public event which was held without filing a notice."