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Did This Moscow Neighborhood Really Install Gallows At a Children's Playground?

AP/Denis Farrell

Residents of a south-eastern Moscow suburb have been spooked by the appearance of gallows-like structures in their apartment complex's courtyard.

Photos of the scene in the Lyublino district show six “gallows” in a row facing a typical Russian apartment block. According to the Life.ru tabloid the wooden structures were installed there earlier this month.

Several of the area's residents expressed concern about the medieval looking structures.

They really disturb me, and especially my son,” a middle-aged woman told the M24.ru television crew.

They're meant for the children's playground but it looks more like a concentration camp,” another man chuckled grimly.

Photos of the structures also led to speculation online.

Without a doubt, life will get better in the new year, and happier too,” one person tweeted, ironically citing a famous quote from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. “In certain places preparations are already being made.”

According to Life.ru, there is a much rosier explanation for the structures. “They're flower pergolas. But they're not finished yet,” the outlet cited a local official Yelena Polukhova as saying. “They'll provide reenforcement for climbing plants.”

With temperatures in Moscow below zero degrees Celsius and winter only just beginning, residents might do well to get used to the view.

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