December 21, 2023

A Snowy Protest


A Snowy Protest
Message on Voronezh snow: "Kstenin, where is the equipment?" Vadim Kstenin, Telegram.

During the past week, Voronezh has been experiencing above-average snowfall. However, the city has done little to remove the huge snowdrifts across the city. In response, residents began writing messages in the snow, appealing to the city's mayor, Vadim Kstenin, to clear them.

After the first days of heavy snowfall, residents found messages posted on their apartment buildings asking them to shovel the snow from their courtyards. Others were encouraged to use oven baking sheets to remove snow from cars. On December 17, snow dunes across Voronezh read, "Kstenin, remove the snow," "Kstenin, where is the equipment?," and "Mount Kstenin."

Images of the snowy messages quickly went viral, prompting a response from the mayor. Kstenin blamed the neglect of the snow banks on disputes with contractors and assured the public the snow would be removed.

In Russia, writing on snow has been used frequently to force authorities to take care of snowdrifts. Writings that include Alexey Navalny's name, anti-Putin slogans, or mention local authorities expedite snow removals.

Snow can also be an outlet for sophomoric creativity.

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