Russian officials have claimed that the United States are attempting to overthrow the country by inflating huge rubber ducks at anti-government protests.
The bizarre claim, which first emerged earlier this year, was substantiated in court by officials who claimed that it was the main reason for refusing permission for an opposition rally led by Alexei Navalny.
The initial report, which was first published in May, claimed that ducks have previously appeared in countries including Brazil and China as a ‘symbol of revolution and the illegal overthrow of the state.’
The colourful ducks first became a sign of resistance at anti-corruption protests in Russia earlier this year,after Mr Navalny published an investigation into Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister.
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In the investigation, he alleged that Mr Medvedev has built a secret property empire that included a £70 million mansion with a duck house.
Mr Medvedev has denied the claims, but Mr Navalny now intends to challenge Vladimir Putin during Russia’s presidential elections next March.
Nikolai Lyaskin, one of Mr Navalny’s leading aides, was beaten with an iron pipe earlier this year, amid growing support for his campaign.
But Russia’s election commission argues that Mr Navalny will not be able to stand because he has a fraud conviction.
He plans to continue campaigning regardless.