Last week, the Russian regime started destroying food that they had banned in response to the Western sanctions. The food was burned and crushed by bulldozers and dumped into piles like trash. Russian bloggers were horrified and appalled by the images of destroyed food.
This was probably my favorite image related to the regime’s destruction of banned imported cheese:
The image is a play on the famous painting of Ivan the Terrible holding his dead son (whom he had killed) in his arms. The text under the image reads: “Ivan Grozny [the Terrible] destroys his own cheese” [this is probably funnier in Russian because there is only one letter difference between the word “son” and “cheese”].
But on a more serious note, Russian environmental activist Evgenia Chirikova commented:
“Today in Samara, they burned 100 tons of pork, which took 6 billion litres of water to raise. This is a real crime.”
The pork had been labelled as an import from Brazil, but the authorities claimed it had been produced in the EU.
“Russia, 2015. People collect what remains after the destruction of the “sanctioned” products. Everything is in this photo.”
But opposition activist Oleg Kozlovsky thought that the whole thing was over-hyped, and said that he didn’t understand the outrage.
“The disposal of contraband products is a common practice, although perhaps not the most optimal. The problem is not in it, but in the delusional embargo on the import of such products. And how it is carried out is a minor detail.”
Kozlovsky then pointed out that the problem is with both the authorities who must impose the ban that they themselves implemented, but also with the citizens who are so used to such actions by their authorities that they don’t complain.
Several people mentioned grandmothers who “considered it a sacrilege to throw away food…”
Lawyer Murad Musaev wrote on Ekho Moskvy:
“Eat it [the food] yourself, give it to a neighbour, give it to the poor, at least feed the animals – anything, but never throw out food. Remember those who have lived hand to mouth, and who died of hunger before you, and of those who are undernourished now, while you finish your dinner. This is what I was taught.”
Musaev continued by calling such blatant destruction an “inappropriate and blasphemous ritual.”
“Especially because this action is planned in a country where hunger is not a stranger: where prisoners of the camps are still alive, and victims of the deportations and the blockade survivors, and where more than 16 million people live below the poverty line.”
Ilya Klishin commented:
“leaving aside the theory that they [the regime] are idiots… there are two realistic explanations:
1. it is conscious sabotage;
2. something even more terrible is taking place, while we all enthusiastically look at the destruction of parmesan and apples.”
“Russia is a country where soldiers are buried secretly and with shame, but cheese – defiantly and proudly.”