Policemen in several Russian cities pulled over women on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is International Women’s Day ― but instead of writing tickets, they handed out roses.
March 8 is similar to Valentine’s Day in Russia, and it has become a day dedicated to buying women flowers and pampering them.
Photos capture quite the spectrum of reactions. Check out the woman in the photo above ― she pulled out her wallet assuming she had committed some kind of violation. But another woman apparently found the gesture so flattering that she took a selfie with two police officers.
There were other ways for women to get their hands on some roses for the holiday. A service in Moscow allowed women to rent a bouquet of the flowers in order to take selfies with it, according to Russian video news agency Ruptly.
It’s hard not to see the irony in this display of apparent courtliness. Approximately one woman dies every 40 minutes in Russia from domestic abuse, according to The Guardian. And the country has voted to decriminalize some acts of domestic violence.
See more photos of Russian police surprising women below.
This article has been updated to include additional information about March 8 celebrations in Russia, and the headline has been amended accordingly.