Why These Russian Activists Are Painting Their Faces Green

VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images

Open many medicine cabinets in Russia, and you’ll likely find a little glass bottle containing an emerald green antiseptic liquid. Called zelyonka, or “Brilliant Green,” it’s used to treat scrapes, cuts, and sores. In recent years, the ointment has become a tool of political warfare: Supporters of President Vladimir Putin reportedly use the indelible salve to publicly attack—and disgrace—leaders of Russia’s opposition party by splashing it on their faces. But as The Moscow Times reports, activists have recently begun donning the green masks as a sign of support for the shamed.

Recent national headlines in Russia have been dominated by a spate of zelyonka attacks. For example, Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny was reportedly assaulted with the liquid several times (the most recent attack resulted in hospitalization, after Brilliant Green seeped into his right eye). Meanwhile, former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov was splashed with zelyonka at a march for assassinated politician Boris Nemtsov. And on April 26, two journalists were pelted with zelyonka.

The dye found in zelyonka is difficult to wash off, so these figures are typically stuck with green faces for days in the wake of an assault. According to members of the opposition party, after an attack occurs, media reports typically focus on the salacious details, and paint those doused in green as feeble and defenseless victims. They argue that these types of attacks—and the articles chronicling them—are intended to weaken morale and undermine their political message.

“It becomes unimportant what Navalny spoke about,” Navalny’s campaign manager, Leonid Volkov, wrote on Facebook, according to The Moscow Times. “What matters for clicks is that he was ‘pelted with eggs.’”

Some victims have managed to find humor in the situation, to show their enemies that the dye didn't debase their dignity: “I will be opening a headquarters in Barnaul as if I am from the film The Mask! Cool. Even my teeth are green!” Navalny tweeted after the Barnaul attack, according to The New York Times.

And, with their creative efforts, activists are also trying to make sure green skin loses its stigma: In March, after Navalny was assaulted with zelyonka in the Siberian city of Barnaul, supporters painted themselves green and posted pictures online. And when Kasyanov was attacked at the march in Nemtsov, protestors chanted: “You won’t pour zelyonka over us!”

[h/t The Moscow Times]

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor

Dash/Keurig
Dash/Keurig

If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.

Electronics

Dash/Amazon

- BISSELL Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner $170 (save $60)

- Dash Deluxe Air Fryer $80 (save $20)

- Dash Rapid 6-Egg Cooker $17 (save $3)

- Keurig K-Café Single Coffee Maker $169 (save $30)

- COMFEE Toaster Oven $29 (save $9)

- AmazonBasics 1500W Oscillating Ceramic Heater $31 (save $4)

Home office Essentials

HP/Amazon

- HP Neverstop Laser Printer $250 (save $30)

- HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner $274 (save $25)

- HP Printer Paper (500 Sheets) $5 (save $2)

- Mead Composition Books Pack of 5 Ruled Notebooks $11 (save $2)

- Swingline Desktop Hole Punch $7 (save $17)

- Officemate OIC Achieva Side Load Letter Tray $15 (save $7)

- PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pens 12-Pack $10 (save $3)

Toys and games

Selieve/Amazon

- Selieve Toys Old Children's Walkie Talkies $17 (save $7)

- Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers $59 (save $21)

- Duckura Jump Rocket Launchers $11 (save $17)

- EXERCISE N PLAY Automatic Launcher Baseball Bat $14 (save $29)

- Holy Stone HS165 GPS Drones with 2K HD Camera $95 (save $40)

Home Improvement

DEWALT/Amazon

- DEWALT 20V MAX LED Hand Held Work Light $54 (save $65)

- Duck EZ Packing Tape with Dispenser, 6 Rolls $11 (save $6)

- Bissell MultiClean Wet/Dry Garage Auto Vacuum $111 (save $39)

- Full Circle Sinksational Sink Strainer with Stopper $5 (save $2)

Home Décor

NECA/Amazon

- A Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp Prop Replica by NECA $41 save $5

- SYLVANIA 100 LED Warm White Mini Lights $8 (save 2)

- Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Vanilla Cupcake $17 (save $12)

- Malden 8-Opening Matted Collage Picture Frame $20 (save $8)

- Lush Decor Blue and Gray Flower Curtains Pair $57 (save $55)

- LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser $25 (save $5)

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Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: What’s the Difference?

Liliboas/iStock via Getty Images
Liliboas/iStock via Getty Images

Since you mail in an absentee ballot, it seems like mail-in ballot is just a convenient alternative for people who always forget the word absentee. And though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is technically a difference.

Up until the Civil War, American voters were generally required to vote at their local polling stations in person. But when states realized this would prevent hundreds of thousands of soldiers from voting in the 1864 presidential election, they started passing laws to let them send in their ballots instead. As The Washington Post explains, state legislatures have since broadened these laws to include other citizens who can’t make it to the polls on Election Day: people who are traveling, people who have disabilities, people attending college away from home, etc. Because these voters are all physically absent from the polls for one reason or another, their ballots are known as absentee ballots.

Some states require you to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for an absentee ballot, while others don’t ask you to give a reason at all (which is known as “no-excuse absentee voting”). Since this year’s general election is happening during a pandemic, many states have temporarily adopted a no-excuse policy to encourage everyone to vote from home. But even if you don’t need to provide an excuse, you do usually need to request an absentee ballot.

According to Dictionary.com, mail-in ballot is a more general term that can refer to any ballot you send in. It’s often used when talking about all-mail voting, when states send a ballot to every registered voter—no request necessary. Oregon and a few other states actually conduct all elections like this, and several other states have decided to do it for the upcoming presidential election. But even though you don’t have to send in an application requesting a mail-in ballot in these situations, you do still have to be registered to vote.

Because voting processes are mostly left up to the states, there’s quite a bit of variation when it comes to what officials call ballots that you don’t cast in person. You could see the term mail-in ballot—or vote-by-mail ballot, or advanced ballot, or something similar—on an application for an absentee ballot, and you could hear absentee ballot used in a conversation about all-mail voting.

No matter what you call it, you should definitely mail one in for this election—here’s how to do that in your state.