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‘There’s Nothing to Cry About’: Moscow Mayor’s Year-End Report, in Quotes

“If you give me your courtyard’s address, I’ll leave the garbage there and ask the [housing and utilities authority] not to pick it up for months,” he said in response to criticism of Moscow's plans to ship its waste to outside regions. Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin gave an annual report to municipal lawmakers Wednesday.

Sobyanin faced several challenges this year, including mass protests against the exclusion of opposition candidates from the Moscow City Duma election and against plans to ship waste to outlying regions.

Here’s a selection of quotes from Sobyanin’s two-hour report, which included answers to 15 pre-approved questions and one that was not cleared in advance:

Waste shipments

“I’m very amused when they tell me that incinerators are being built in the Moscow region… Let’s close them all.” 

“‘And these landfills you’re creating, Shiyes, you’re planning to bring garbage to the taiga… you’ve gone mad.’ Colleagues, let’s not take [waste] anywhere and let’s not burn anything.”

“If you give me your courtyard’s address, I’ll leave the garbage there and ask the [housing and utilities authority] not to pick it up for months.”

Jailed protesters

“Of course I feel [responsibility for prosecutions against this summer’s protesters] but let’s figure out why they were there. Your question needs to be primarily addressed to those who urged the youth and people to walk into police truncheons.”

“Those provocateurs who sent them there, who urged them to storm City Hall at an absolutely legal rally, hold foremost responsibility for people being hurt, for conflict breaking out and for people serving sentences today.”

Historic cinema’s demolition 

“There’s nothing to cry about.”

“Remember the story with the Winter Cherry, a national tragedy? People mostly burned in small rooms they couldn’t escape. Have you been to Solovey [the demolished cinema]?” 

“I’m not even talking about the dirt, unsanitary conditions, worn out seats with holes. They [built it so it's] impossible to escape in the event of a fire.”

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