Russian Opposition Leader Blinded With Toxic Green Dye

Assailant threw 'weapon of choice' on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in Moscow
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2017 4:17 PM CDT
Man Who Wants to Be Russian President Blinded in Attack
In this photo taken Thursday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny poses for a photo after unknown attackers doused him with green liquid in Moscow.   (Evgeny Feldman/Pool Photo via AP)

Russia may soon have a president with a "stylish white eye." Not Vladimir Putin, but Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader who made the joke after a not-so-funny incident last week that may leave him partially blind. The New York Times reports Navalny was attacked Thursday in Moscow by a perpetrator who came up to him, threw green liquid in his face, then ran off. Navalny says his doctor told him he suffered a chemical burn and has lost 80% sight in his right eye, which may get better with treatment. The Los Angeles Times notes Navalny, who's planning on running for president next year, was leaving his office at the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a Russian NGO, when he was assaulted with the liquid, which he at first thought was the harmless antiseptic "zelyonka" (meaning "brilliant green," per the BBC), a fluid called the "Russian green dye weapon of choice" by the Inverse.

Zelyonka is often used by Russian government supporters against critics, and it's usually harmless unless consumed by mouth. But Navalny said his doctor told him another "caustic chemical" had been mixed in, leading to his injuries. Even though local cops say they're looking into the incident, Navalny says they're dragging their feet. He's keeping a stiff upper lip, though. He appeared on his YouTube channel just hours after the attack, and he posted a series of images Sunday on his blog that showed movie characters who also sport odd ocular organs. He also offered a mock-up of himself as the main character from The Terminator. Meanwhile, per Reuters, a senior Russian election official told RIA that Navalny can't run for president until he gets an embezzlement conviction nixed on further appeal—a case Navalny says is sabotage. (The Kremlin has a history of using poison on enemies.)

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