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This Badass Woman Has Become A Symbol For Russia's Young Protesters

Ducks, trainers, and a badass woman all defined Sunday's protests.

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On Sunday, thousands of Russians gathered in cities across Russia to protest against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

The protests were organized by Alexei Navalny, one of Russia's most prominent critics of President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month, he accused Medvedev of taking bribes and using them to purchase assets.

During the protests, certain trends among the participants began to appear.

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The protests were noted for the number of young people who came out for demonstrations across the country.

Many people brought ducks with them — this was a reference to an old video made by Navalny, in which he used a drone to show that Medvedev's home includes a separate house in the middle of a lake, specifically for ducks.

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Others brought along pairs of trainers — this was because Navalny credits noticing the prime minister's trainers as what sparked his investigation.

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And of course, there were lots of memes.

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"Steal money from budget. Ban rallies. Spill green liquids on people. Block Navalny on Instagram."

However, it's photograph, which shows the arrest of Olga Lozina, that has become the iconic image of the protest.

Unprecedented number of young Russians who've known no president but Putin came to protest him today. This looks li… https://t.co/mXPRkJ5Ot1

Lozina, who described herself as "a graduate of Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute," told Meduza from a police station that it was unclear why she and her family were arrested.

There was a flower bed there and I stood on it to see where crowds end. Riot policemen demanded that we immediately got off the flower bed. Everyone quickly got off; the last one to get down, a young man, got taken to the police van, his hands tied by the police. My mother was nearby, and asked the police: "Why did you grab him?" Then they grabbed my mother. And then my sister. They were all taken and I followed them, without even realizing that they were detaining me too.

I would not say that I was rudely detained — they carried me neatly enough. I would even go with them myself, had they told me why they were arresting me. But I did not even have time to ask. Then they threw us into the police van. We were brought to the Cheryomushki district police department and here we are now. They've told us nothing and we don’t know when they’ll let us go.

On Monday, Navalny was jailed for 15 days and fined 20,000 roubles for organizing the protest and resisting police orders.

Всем привет из Тверского суда. Настанет время, когда и мы будем их судить (только уже честно)

"Hi everyone from Tverskoy court. The time will come when we'll have them on trial (but on an honest one)."

The Russian government released a statement and criticized the protests, accusing the organizers of provoking violence. "We cannot treat with respect those who knowingly misled minors, in fact children, urging them and promising them some kind of rewards for taking part in an uncoordinated action in an uncoordinated place," said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, "thereby exposing their safety and even the lives of these children and minors."

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

Contact Victor Stepanov at victor.stepanov@buzzfeed.com.

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