In Russia’s Far East, a village sign was changed to read ‘Putin is a thief.’ This didn’t last long.
In Russia’s Far Eastern region of Zabaykalsky Krai, located on the border with Mongolia and China, the village of Aginskoye has its name written across a hill in stones. During the night of June 1, however, the stones were rearranged to spell out “Putin vor,” a popular protest slogan meaning “Putin is a thief.”
The new writing didn’t last long: by 9 a.m. the stones had been rearranged to spell “Putinskoye,” according to eyewitnesses. It was later changed back to “Aginskoye.”
At first, the village administration speculated that the inscription could have been a photoshop job. But the head of Aginskoye, Andrey Dashin, later confirmed that the photos were real.
“Many of us became eyewitnesses to the extremely unpleasant and stupid incident [involving] the change of the ‘Aginskoye’ sign on the side of the hill,” Dashin wrote in a chat group on the messaging app Viber. “Respecting everyone’s right to their opinion and point of view, I would like to appeal to the authors of this act; if you think your act was heroism or consider yourself the opposition — this is your right. But I am very ashamed and disappointed for our whole village, for all of our good and kind people living [here].”
At the end of his message, the head of the village suggested “going forward together and treating [our] small motherland with real love and dignity.”
According to the regional publication Mkchita.ru, the police are already looking for those responsible for changing the village’s sign.