The Most Dangerous Thing for Russians These Days is Not Guns or Knives but THIS
① Struck by Falling Icicles
In Russia, there has been a surge in accidents where pedestrians are killed or seriously injured by falling icicles. This is due to the country’s inability to afford snow removal costs as the war continues. Currently, severe icicles are found on the streets of Russia.
Icicles hang as tall as a person, and many icicles look sharp at first glance. There have been multiple reports and videos of people being hit by icicles while walking on the streets all over Russia.
In St. Petersburg, it was reported that four citizens were injured by icicles falling from buildings. A man in his 30s walking on the streets of St. Petersburg was killed by an icicle that fell from a 7th-floor balcony. A 2-year-old child in a stroller also suffered a severe head injury from an icicle. One woman was admitted to the intensive care unit after being diagnosed with a closed brain injury and spinal fractures when an icicle fell on her.
One man had to undergo four surgeries after being hit by an icicle. He was transported to the hospital unconscious after being hit by the icicle. He suffered severe injuries, including abrasions, contusions, kidney rupture, coccyx fracture, and severe injuries to his ribs and spine.
In Chelyabinsk, a city in west-central Russia, news of a woman being killed instantly by an icicle while walking on the street was reported. The icicle that fell on the woman’s head was reportedly larger than the height of an adult male. Witnesses said they couldn’t approach the woman for fear of another icicle falling.
In Mendeleev, an icicle hanging from the roof of a five-story building collapsed, causing partial damage to the supermarket canopy and hotel balcony.
② Icicles Hanging from Buildings, a Threat to Life
These incidents are currently happening all over Russia. News of accidents related to icicles continues to be reported. Some have pointed out that snow removal is not being carried out due to a lack of manpower and budget caused by the war in Ukraine.
A British media outlet has reported on the changing practices in snow removal in towns and cities, noting a shift from when it was regularly done to prevent accidents. The current situation, as highlighted in the report, is affected by the ongoing war, which has led to local councils struggling with financial constraints to cover snow removal costs. Additionally, the report mentions that staff from housing management companies, who would typically be involved in these tasks, are being mobilized for the war effort, resulting in a near cessation of snow removal activities and increased related accidents.
In the past, Russia earned a reputation for its swift and efficient snow removal efforts, especially in the face of its harsh winter conditions. These operations were considered world-class, marked by meticulous preparations ahead of winter to ensure that roads remained ice-free regardless of snowfall volume. Moscow, in particular, orchestrated a formidable workforce comprising approximately 18,000 snow removal vehicles and 60,000 personnel dedicated to expeditious snow removal. Remarkably, they even employed firearms to dislodge icicles hanging from tall buildings.
Russia boasts a network of 56 snow processing plants dedicated to snow removal, with a daily snow processing capacity reaching an impressive 590,000 cubic yards. Thanks to their round-the-clock snow removal operations, citizens experienced minimal inconvenience during winter.
While they used to remove the snow from the roofs of all buildings, the current situation is insufficient for snow removal. Russian media are informing about winter accident prevention guidelines as these accidents continue. They advise checking for icicles or ice on the roof in Russia when approaching a building and moving accordingly. If an icicle is about to fall, they advise not to look up but to stick closely to the building wall.
If you find icicles on the roof of a building while walking, you are advised to report it to the management company immediately. Also, if there are icicles on a resident’s property, they convey that the responsibility for cleaning lies with the owner.
Even in the past, there were accidents in Russia where icicles killed people during winter. However, it has become more serious this year as snow removal is not being carried out properly.
③ Russia Continues to Experience Extreme Cold
Russia has a vast territory, so the climate and temperature vary by region. This year, Russia is experiencing unprecedented heavy snowfall and extreme cold. In Moscow’s capital, up to 49 cm (19.3 inches) of snow fell daily. This greatly exceeded the record of 12.6 inches in 1919.
On December 3, the most snow in 145 years of weather observation fell in one day. In just 12 hours, 10.7mm (0.4 inches) of snow fell. People in Russia have been sharing their isolation situations due to heavy snowfall on social media. Flights were also disrupted due to the heavy snowfall that covered Moscow.
The Siberian region is experiencing unusual extreme cold. The early winter temperature dropped to an unusual -50 degrees Celcius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit). Oymyakon, known as the coldest place in the world, was recorded at -58 degrees Celcius (-72.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
By. Min Jae Kim