A group of activists in Russia-annexed Crimea have found an unusual way to pay a $5,000 fine: using ten-ruble coins — roughly the equivalent of $0.17 each.
The activists devised this plan after a local court issued the fine to Crimean activist Zarema Umerova for her pro-Ukrainian posts on social media. In response, the Crimean Solidarity held a fundraiser to gather money for Umerova.
The activists have managed to raise around $14 thousand, with $2,256 coming from Crimea.
The unusual payment method came to light after Emine Dzheppar, Ukraine’s deputy Minister of Information Policy, posted a photo of the coins on Facebook. Once it was all gathered, the “fine” weighed 140 kilograms and required several people to deliver it, activist Aishe Umerova said.
In many ways, Zarema Umerova got lucky with the $5,000 fine. The legal violation she was charged with could have resulted in a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.
The activists plan to use the remainder of the money to pay the fines incurred by other Crimean activists.