Russia's cultural capital Saint Petersburg, where ice-covered sidewalks and falling icicles make walking dangerous every winter, has also been experiencing a garbage emergency since the beginning of the year.

For weeks, heaps of rubbish have been piling up in front of residential buildings, which the city administration excuses by saying that a new disposal company has been responsible for the removal since New Year's Eve, but was initially overwhelmed with the task.

The artist group "Young Petersburg" (Molodoi Peterburg) took advantage of the moment and transformed the garbage heaps into installations that denounce consumption.

Group members posed in front of it with rat masks and on Instagram called on St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov to become king of the rat kingdom.

Commenting on the general situation in the city, the 29-year-old sculptor Ivan Volkov sculpted a five-metre-long sausage out of uncleared snow on Field of Mars, which he colored with brown food coloring.

Even rock singer Sergey Shnurov, who broke up his Leningrad band and is now a member of the Moscow State Duma's cultural council, came to his hometown to denounce their littering in a music video called "For the time being" (Poka tak).

Arrested and imprisoned

In the clip, which has been viewed two million times, Schnurov, flanked by two party animals, in front of piles of rubbish bags, complains in hearty curse language that the authorities are no longer just stealing from the city, but are also making it dirty. So what do you think "Beglow's Spade" is doing now, Shnurow raps, referring to the governor's campaign when Beglow shoveled snow for the TV camera. In Shnurov's song, the city administration consoles the citizens with the fact that a "garbage biennial" is taking place in Petersburg.

The real power of the state did not find the artist's comments funny at all.

Ivan Volkov was arrested and detained in a police station overnight without food or water.

He is threatened with criminal prosecution for alleged mockery of graves - which are of course located at a completely different place on the Field of Mars.

Schnurow must have received a tip.

In any case, he recorded a new clip called "Song of Repentance" (Pokajannaya), in which he - parodying the forced self-criticism of the opponents of Belarusian President Lukashenko - recoils and takes the blame for the garbage and snow chaos.

In front of a phalanx of tamed, shirtless convicts, with a band-aid on his mouth, he confesses that he had "on order" blackened the authorities and in the process distributed the garbage in the city himself.

And while his party partner, now with a fairytale kokoschnik crest on her head, whistles "My Love Beglow", the rocker promises that in future he will only sing the most beautiful odes to the governor.

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