Moscow Mayor Plays god, promises no snow this winter, and dumps it all on country-folk

October 20th, 2009

This story from Time is pretty cool:

Pigs still can’t fly, but this winter, the mayor of Moscow promises to keep it from snowing. For just a few million dollars, the mayor’s office will hire the Russian Air Force to spray a fine chemical mist over the clouds before they reach the capital, forcing them to dump their snow outside the city.

The air force will use cement powder, dry ice or silver iodide to spray the clouds from Nov. 15 to March 15 – and only to prevent “very big and serious snow” from falling on the city, said Andrei Tsybin, the head of the department. This could mean that a few flakes will manage to slip through the cracks. Tsybin estimated that the total cost of keeping the storms at bay would be $6 million this winter, roughly half the amount Moscow normally spends to clear the streets of snow.

But not everyone is happy. What about residents outside the city?

So far the main objection to the plan has come from Moscow’s suburbs, which will likely be inundated with snow if the plan goes forward. Alla Kachan, the Moscow region’s ecology minister, said the proposal still needs to be assessed by environmental experts and discussed with the people living in the area before Luzhkov can enact it. “The citizens of the region have some concerns. We have received lots of messages,” she told the RIA news agency.

No worries. Moscow has a proud tradition of screwing the country-folk in order to benefit those in the cities. I wonder if Walter Duranty is covering this story.

And because I so seldom get to post in Russian, Кто такой Джон Галт?