What was Moscow's road sweeper parade about?
A few days after the City Duma elections, Moscow's city council held a parade featuring 700 municipal service vehicles. This was not the first time Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin put on such a display of the vehicles' readiness for the winter, but this time the spectacle with road sweepers and snowploughs has elicited a negative response from commentators.
City boss shows his stuff
For Vedomosti, the event was a clear demonstration of power:
“Municipal technology is for Sobyanin's Moscow what new weapons systems are for Putin's Russia. The vehicles' parade across the blocked-off Garden Ring can hardly be interpreted as anything but a victory parade. ... Street sprinklers and electric buses drove along the road where an opposition demonstration was supposed to take place. This made clear to everyone once more who the boss of the city is. 'Traffic obstruction' is the usual reason given for refusing permission for opposition actions. But the Garden Ring being blocked off for four hours for the parade didn't disrupt the traffic at all, of course.”
No rational explanation
Blogger Alexander Gorny finds the whole thing completely ridiculous on Echo of Moscow:
“You have to be very convinced of your own genius and of Moscow's budget to come up with the idea for this parade. ... Does Sobyanin have any idea how stupid, silly, primitive and costly this is? Did he pay for this nonsense out of his own pocket? Or is the mayoral office now staging a new kind of demo with special vehicles instead of public servants? But perhaps it's just autumn that's to blame - and the whole spectacle is the result of seasonal depression among certain citizens and officials. Quite frankly, I fear for the future of this country.”