Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Official Threatens to Dig Up Road in Response to Complaints

The acting governor of the republic of Marii-El in central Russia threatened to “shut everything down, leave and dig up the road” during a meeting with local residents, according to a video posted to YouTube on Tuesday.

Leonid Markelov was angered by the village residents complaining to him, the footage showed. “It's the first time I've had such a poor welcome. It's never happened to me that people would grumble and growl at me. They usually thank me,” he said.

“Maybe I should turn the same part of my body to you as you did to me? Shut everything down, leave and dig up the road,” Markelov said. “You don't believe I can dig up the road?” he added angrily.

He then left the stage and went into the crowd of people who were listening to him, asking them if there were really things to complain about.

Markelov's spokespeople later told the media his threats were a joke.

Markelov is one of the candidates in the gubernatorial election in the region that will take place on Sept. 13.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.