June 27, 2012
You can shout down angry criticism, but it's hard to squash a good joke. The Russian opposition has proven yet again it has a very good sense of humour .
There is a catch phase doing the rounds in Russia at the moment: Who are you? Come on! Goodbye!? (It makes more sense in Russian).
It comes from a video of a party in rural Azerbaijan at which a group of men perform the traditional Meyhana
- basically a rap. Coming from the Astara region in the southern tip of Azerbaijan on the border with Iran, the men sing in a mix of Russian, Azeri and the local Talysh language - a form of Persian.
The footage quickly went viral and has over 3.2m hits after it was co-opted by the Russian opposition movement and redirected at President Vladimir Putin. It didn't take long for someone to get their Mac out and cut the song together with footage of a debate between Putin and the leader of the nationalist LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
This video follows on from our personal favourite, a flash mob rendition of Putin on the Ritz.
However, this latest story has a nasty sting in the tail. The authorities in Azerbaijan obviously didn't like what was happening and took the message of the song to be directed against them. Khilal Mamedov, editor of the Talyshi Sado newspaper and author of the video, was arrested at the weekend for procession of heroin.
Police confirmed Friday that Mamedov had been arrested with 5.8 grams of heroin, while another 28.3 grams were discovered at his residence. Police have opened a criminal investigation, and Mamedov could face from three to twelve years in prison.
Talyshi Sado is a Talysh language newspaper that represents the local minority that lives in southern Azerbaijan. The arrest is widely seen as politically motivated.
|Who are you? Come on! Goodbye!|