Russia: Inspectors-vs.-Goose-meat Video Goes Viral
A video showing four Russian officials using a bulldozer to crush three small packages of allegedly illegally imported goosemeat has gone viral.
The footage comes on the heels of Russia’s decision to destroy large amounts of food imported from European Union (EU) countries in violation of a Kremlin ban on such imports to counter EU sanctions against Russia over its actions in Crimea.
The video, from the provincial town of Apostovo in Tatarstan, shows uniformed customs officers reading formal speeches from a notepad, apparently addressed to three packages of goose-meat in a small local store.
Radio Liberty commented on this part of the video in a light-hearted story, writing, “Imported from EU member Hungary, the geese were subjected to something like a Stalin-era show trial.”
Radio Liberty says that the procedure was filmed in accordance with Russian law, in what appears to be a bid by Russian authorities to prevent corrupt officials from consuming or re-selling sanctioned goods they are forced to seize.
A video of the ordeal emerged online last week and has now been viewed more than 400,000 times and attracted more than 2,000 comments, with some users questioning why tanks had not been used for even greater effect.
Despite such Herculean efforts, the Apostovo officials ended up, well, crushed.
Evgeny Ivanov, a senior Tatarstan official for Rosselkhoznadzor, the state agency regulating the import and export of animal-related goods, reportedly told radio station Govorit Moskva: "If we are dealing with agricultural/vegetable products, then you can use a bulldozer to crush and destroy them. Meat or meat products need to be destroyed by burning. The [Apostovo] Inspector has already received a reprimand for this…”
The furor over the video comes amidst an escalating political row over Russia’s decision to destroy the European food. Anti-corruption activist Alexander Navalny published receipts showing that The Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Moscow Mayor’s Office, spent millions of rubles on catering services that included banned EU cheese including Brie, Roquefort, Gruyere and Parmesan.
This comes as the Russian government this week made six arrests in what it says is a US$ 30 million cheese-smuggling ring. Only yesterday, Russias’s Ibris Orthodox Union of Cossacks announced plans to patrol foreign-owned stores in St Petersburg to report any sanctioned foreign foods that might be for sale, newsagency Rosbalt reported. It quotes the leader of the pro-Kremlin Cossack group, Andrei Polakov, as saying that because authorities lack the resources to enforce the sanctions, “we will help them to expose the scam.”