Celebrating the end of the annual spring festival by burning an effigy is Russian enough on its own. But do you want to make it even more Russian? Well, try shooting it to pieces with an iconic World War Two-era T-34 tank.
The annual celebration of the ancient Maslenitsa festival is seen as a way of bidding farewell to winter and marks the beginning of Lent – and the fire-laden ceremony is an integral part of the festivities in towns and villages across Russia.
This bizarre performance incorporating a tank was staged at the military theme park Stalnoy Desant (Steel Airdrop) in St. Petersburg over the weekend. The park had previously launched an online poll on how to light up the traditional Maslenitsa effigy.
Options ranged from the effigy getting obliterated by a tank to getting run over by an armored personnel carrier – or even pelted with hand grenades. The tank option secured a solid win, however, and the park kept its promise, footage posted on social media shows.
A T-34-85 tank was filmed shooting at the crudely made effigy at point blank range, causing it to explode and go up in flames. The imagery available, however, suggests that the tank used a blank shot while the effigy was destroyed by a pre-planted charge.
Still, the performance was cheered by the park visitors – and mocked by some on social media, who believed the whole stunt to be a bit over-the-top.
In a separate dramatic incident, an effigy previously exploded into a fireball, engulfing a nearby performer in flames.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!