Protesters in Russia trolled Putin with golden toilet brushes, mocking the extravagant wealth he is accused of hiding by jailed foe Alexei Navalny

alexei navalny protest
A protester in Moscow holding a gold-painted toilet brush at a rally against the jailing of Alexei Navalny, on January 31, 2021. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russians held gold toilet brushes while protesting the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

  • Navalny's foundation recently claimed that Putin built a secret palace that had a $824 toilet brush.

  • Thousands have been arrested across Russia while protesting Navalny's arrest.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Protesters in Russia are using golden toilet brushes to mock President Vladimir Putin as they demonstrate in support of the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Mass protests have taken place across Russia since Navalny was arrested upon his arrival to Moscow in mid-January and sentenced to jail shortly after.

The demonstrations, where thousands of people have been arrested, included people holding toilet brushes after Navalny made explosive claims about Putin's wealth.

In a documentary released by Navalny's foundation after his detention, the activist claimed Putin had secretly built a coastal palace that contained a $824 toilet brush.

Agence France-Presse reported that some protesters had been bringing brushes to rallies.

And Sarah Rainsford, the BBC's Moscow correspondent, tweeted on Sunday that some members of a protest crowd were holding brushes that had been painted gold.

France24 reported that one protester spray-painted a brush gold before demonstrating at Tomsk University on January 23.

His TikTok about the brush, which showed him painting it gold and then holding it at a rally, got 180,000 likes, France24 reported.

Photos from demonstrations in Russia also show protesters holding toilet brushes - some regular, some painted gold:

Navalny protest
A woman holds a toilet brush at a rally. Vitaly Nevar\TASS via Getty Images
Navalny protest
A woman holds a toilet brush at a Navalny rally in Moscow. Sergei Savostyanov\TASS via Getty Images

Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, or FBK, released a nearly two-hour video two weeks ago that showed Navalny describing an allegedly secret palace that Putin had built near Gelendzhik on the Black Sea.

It said that the palace included a toilet brush that cost around $824.

The FBK said the palace cost the equivalent of around $1.3 billion, funded through a corruption scheme where Putin allies paid him for access and influence.

The FBK said the description was based on interviews with contractors, blueprints, and publicly accessible documents. It claimed the palace has features like a wine cave, an "aquadisco," and an ice-hockey rink.

The Kremlin said the report was "pure nonsense."

Navalny was arrested and detained upon arrival in Russia on January 17, when he returned for the first time since he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in August. He was sent to a prison named "Sailor's Silence," where political prisoners have been jailed.

Navalny has accused Putin of ordering the poisoning.

Navalny is due to appear in court on Tuesday, where he could be sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, was among the thousands detained in the protests across Russia - the largest to take place in the country in years.

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