Local authorities in the Siberian city of Cita have installed huge ice sculptures of Russian soldiers as Christmas decorations in the central square of the town, which is located 4,830 km east of Moscow, the BBC reports. The local authorities have invested more than 100,000 dollars for the soldiers who will melt in the spring and for some made of plastic, as the families of those mobilized complained that the new recruits do not have the necessary equipment for combat, according to Radio Free Europe.

Russians mobilized in the Siberian town of CitaPhoto: Evgeny Yepanchintsev / Sputnik / Profimedia

Locals who arrive at the square in the center of Cita, where the temperature sometimes reaches minus 33 degrees Celsius, stop to look at the imposing soldiers from the ice and even take selfies with them.

The local authorities decided that the ice sculptures would be a suitable decoration for this festive season, as a way to encourage a patriotic new year.

“We’re fighting a war,” Tatiana declared, “so it’s only right that we have these ice soldiers here. They’re current.”

“It’s an unusual way to celebrate the New Year,” said Ludmila, who admits to being worried about the situation in Ukraine. “Normally, you’d have Santa Claus, bunnies or squirrels. But it’s a sign of the times.”

“We have friends who were mobilized and sent to fight there. We worry about them. We call them to see if they are okay. But whatever we think of our government, our country is our country. If we don’t defend it, who will?”.

In the Siberian city of Chita, roughly 5000km from Moscow, the inhabitants of the city were very surprised to see ice soldier sculptures instead of the usual Ded Moroz (father christmas) and sleigh sculptures for new year celebrations. #Chita #icesculptures #Russian pic.twitter.com/HGD7QNHNHP

— The Oculus Files – The Oligarch Hunter (@oculusfiles) December 20, 2022

When asked by the BBC journalist from whom Russia should be defended, Ludmila says that from the Nazis, a change of vision of the locals in the Siberian city of Cita in the last year, a sign that the Russians’ propaganda has worked.

“Russia is under attack on all fronts, including with LGBT propaganda. They are trying to impose this on us. We reject these foreign ideas. We embrace Russian values. It’s hard for me to explain this in words. I just feel it.”

Ice sculpture competitions

In recent years, the city of Cita in eastern Siberia has made a tradition of marking the New Year with ice sculpting competitions, with artisans from across the region turning blocks of ice into symbols of the most beloved holiday on the Russian calendar, according to Radio Free Europe.

In 2022, the fairy tale lived by the locals of Cita was transformed into a military dream, said Vladimir under the protection of anonymity, a sculptor who usually carves in ice.

This time the chisels of the sculptures fashioned 24 ice soldiers in battle gear, alongside ice chutes and other objects “adorned” with symbols of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

To mark this year’s celebration, local authorities budgeted 6.8 million rubles, the equivalent of $105,000, for this project, which also includes plastic soldiers, not just made of ice.

Chita city (Transbaikal territory) was decorated with plastic soldiers for the New Year. As noted in the city administration, there will be 24 figures in the city. In addition to plastic soldiers, the authorities will install ice figures of the Russian fighters! pic.twitter.com/rD4jQsAlLD

— Geo_monitor (@colonelhomsi) December 5, 2022

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