GRIM ice sculptures of soldiers wielding Kalashnikovs were used to decorate a Russian town in one of the most depressing Christmas exhibitions of all time.
Scattered around the Siberian city of Chita, the militarized decorations are seen as a patriotic nod to Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Normally, the streets of the southern city, about 3100 miles from Moscow, are decorated with Santa Clauses and sleigh sculptures in the festive season.
But the images show a grim reality unfolding across Russia.
The benevolent sculptures are sculpted into full army gear and all carry the Soviet Union’s famous Kalashnikov rifle.
There are more than a dozen of the motionless men.
According to the BBC, local authorities decided the war-themed ice sculptures would be an appropriate decoration and a way to promote support for the Kremlin’s protracted campaign.
Most people are fine with the decorations, some even stop to take selfies.
One resident, Tatyana, told the BBC: “We are at war.
“So it’s right to have these Ice Soldiers here – they’re up to date.”
However, another local found it bizarre.
“It’s an unusual way to celebrate the New Year,” she said.
“Normally you would have Santa Clauses, rabbits or squirrels… But it’s a sign of the times.”
Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Putin’s “special military operation” to suppress Ukrainians was flawed and was viewed as a failure by international experts.
And as the winter months grip the northern hemisphere, the situation is expected to become even more serious as soldiers freeze to death.
Ludmila, a local, said she was concerned about the situation in Ukraine.
She said: “We have friends who have been mobilized and sent there to fight there, we’re worried about them, we’re calling to see if they’re okay… but whatever we think of our government like, our motherland is our fatherland, if we don’t defend it, who will.
“They are over there to defend Russia from the Nazis, there are a lot of them.
“Russia is being attacked on all fronts, including with LGBT propaganda.
“They try to force this on us, we reject these foreign ideas and adopt Russian values.”
Since the beginning of the war, the Kremlin has gained total control over the media landscape in Russia.
Propaganda has convinced many Russians that their country is now in an existential struggle with the West.
In one instance, they promoted a shameless propaganda campaign claiming that Britain had “staged” horrific slaughter scenes in Bucha to blame Putin for alleged war crimes.
The far-eastern Zabaykalsky region, where the sculptures stand, is also the same place where a man was recently accused of dreaming about Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ivan Losev posted about his dream on Instagram and was subsequently tried and fined 30,000 rubles (£380) for “discrediting the Russian armed forces”.
He told the BBC that the Kremlin’s attempts to brainwash citizens were showing cracks.
“The closer you get to the fall of an empire, the dumber the laws become.
“I think that will end with the demise of Putin’s Russia.”
Russia had already suffered many defeats on the battlefield, with Despot Putin suffering massive humiliation as his cannon fodder dwindled.
The warlord’s efforts to recruit more men also did not go according to plan, as one man opened fire on a military chief.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6963058/depressing-christmas-ice-sculptures-russia/ Most depressing Christmas decorations ever as Russian city puts up soldier ice sculptures instead of traditional displays