Rainbow zebra protest at Russian embassy

Gay rights activists have re-painted a zebra crossing outside Russia's embassy in Oslo in bright rainbow colours in protest against new anti-gay laws introduced in June.

Rainbow zebra protest at Russian embassy
The zebra crossing outside the Russian embassy
“Stockholm effect: Gay colours have spread to the Russian Embassy in Oslo during the night,” tweeted Norwegian journalist Anders Giæver, referring to a similar protest in Sweden earlier this month
President Vladimir Putin in June signed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a tightening of the law that has led some to call of the boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 
The first rainbow zebra crossing appears to have been painted to celebrate gay pride in West Hollywood in 2012, since when the idea was mimicked in Sydney and Tel Aviv, before morphing into a light-hearted protest in Stockholm. 

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny discharged from Berlin hospital

Russia's leading opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who the West believes was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, has been discharged from hospital after just over a month, the Berlin medical facility treating him said Wednesday.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny discharged from Berlin hospital
Alexei Navalny. Photo: Uncredited/Navalny Instagram/AP/DPA

“Based on the patient's progress and current condition, the treating physicians believe that complete recovery is possible,” Charite hospital said in a statement, adding however that it remained too early to assess any long-term effects of his severe poisoning.

The 44-year-old Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner fell ill after boarding a plane in Siberia last month and was hospitalised there before being flown to Berlin.

He spent 32 days in the Berlin hospital, including 24 days in intensive care, before his release.

Germany has said toxicology tests provide “unequivocal proof” that he had been poisoned by the Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent, which was also used in a separate poisoning in 2018 on ex-double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain.

France and Sweden have since said tests they ran independently corroborate with Germany's conclusions.

European leaders have demanded explanations from Moscow, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that “only Russia can and must” provide answers on the poisoning.

READ ALSO: How Navalny case is poisoning ties between Germany and Russia

Navalny's allies say he may have been poisoned by a cup of tea he drank at Tomsk airport in Siberia.

But the Russian doctors who first treated Navalny said their tests did not find any toxic substances, and the Kremlin has rejected international calls for an investigation.

In his first blog post since emerging from coma, Navalny said on Monday that the three European labs had found Novichok “in and on my body”.





«Владимир Путин сообщил французскому коллеге: «Навальный мог сам проглотить этот яд». Хорошая версия. Считаю, что заслуживает самого пристального изучения. Сварил на кухне «Новичок». Тихо отхлебнул из фляжки в самолете. Впал в кому. До этого договорился с женой, друзьями и коллегами, что, если Минздрав будет настаивать, чтоб меня увезли лечить в Германию, они ни в коем случае не позволяли это сделать. Помереть в омской больнице и оказаться в омском морге, где установили бы причину смерти «пожил достаточно», – вот конечная цель моего хитрого плана. Но Путин меня переиграл. Его просто так не проведёшь. В итоге я, как дурак, пролежал в коме 18 дней, но своего не добился. Провокация не удалась!

A post shared by Алексей Навальный (@navalny) on Sep 22, 2020 at 12:04pm PDT

He noted that Russia had still not opened an investigation but that he “did not expect anything else.”

Navalny aides said Thursday that German experts found Novichok nerve agent on a water bottle taken from the hotel room where he stayed before being taken ill.

The bottle appears to have been key evidence for Germany's conclusion that the 44-year-old lawyer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent.

READ ALSO: Russian opposition leader 'can walk with a tremble' after Berlin treatment