Moscow to ban snow

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov — the man behind the world’s ugliest statue — has a new grandiose project, keeping winter snow out of Moscow: Moscow will blast clouds from the sky this winter to save money on snow removal, a city official said Wednesday, but the plan threatens to anger the surrounding region, which would ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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579205_091015_snow2.jpg
Red Square, Spasskaya tower of the Kremlin and St.Basil Cathedral are seen during the first heavy snow fall in Moscow on November 22, 2008. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read Alexander Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov -- the man behind the world's ugliest statue -- has a new grandiose project, keeping winter snow out of Moscow:

Moscow will blast clouds from the sky this winter to save money on snow removal, a city official said Wednesday, but the plan threatens to anger the surrounding region, which would have to cope with the extra powder. ....

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov — the man behind the world’s ugliest statue — has a new grandiose project, keeping winter snow out of Moscow:

Moscow will blast clouds from the sky this winter to save money on snow removal, a city official said Wednesday, but the plan threatens to anger the surrounding region, which would have to cope with the extra powder. ….

Luzhkov is a long-time proponent of fighting clouds by spraying liquid nitrogen, silver, or cement particles into the cloud mass, which forces precipitation to fall before it can reach the capital and spoil holidays like Victory Day and City Day.

Last month, Luzhkov proposed expanding the technology to fight the snow drifts that snarl traffic every winter.

“What if we force this snow to fall beyond Moscow? The Moscow region will have more water, bigger harvests, while we will have less snow,” he said at an award ceremony for Moscow’s best-kept yard. He said that using the Air Force to prevent massive snowfall would be three times cheaper than using the regular system of trucks and snow-melting stations.

City hall estimates that the project will save the city $10.2 million in snow removal. Needless to say, officials in the surrouding region are less than thrilled with the plan. Locals have also criticized Luzhkov’s previous cloud prevention schemes, noting that they make “the cucumbers turn yellow.”

Alexander Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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