Снос ларьков / Demolition of the Kiosks

Demolition of the Kiosks

Audio content: Multiple pedestrians briefly sharing their opinions on the demolition of Moscow kiosks.
Visual content: The demolition site and ongoing demolition work outside Metro Sokol

Link to video at Телеканал Дождь
(the video is currently accessible to non-subscribers)

One of the most-discussed events of the last week in Moscow was the “removal of the kiosks.” Small semi-permanent retail structures — tent markets, kiosks and small buildings — had been a fixture in the city since the 1990s. They were common around metro stations and other public transportation stops and sold newspapers, flowers, drinks and food, etc. The city administration had declared many of them “незаконные постройки” / “illegal structures” or “самострой” / “self-building” because they had never been properly permitted. City leaders expressed concern that these structures were hazardous, blocked access to public spaces, interfered with maintenance of city infrastructure and disfigured the city.  On the night of February 8th, about 100 of them were demolished in a coordinated action. (Apparently the owners of these retail spaces had been notified that their structures were considered illegal and needed to be dismantled, but the sudden nighttime bulldozing was a surprise.) In the video featured here, various pedestrians share their opinion on the event. The site is the metro station “Sokol” in the northwestern part of Moscow.

Russian Life published a blog post on this topic, from a very critical perspective.
Gazeta.ru has a great photo gallery with aerial perspectives that give an idea of the spaces involved.

Заметки о языке: Some common names for these small retail spaces are “ларёк” / “kiosk”, “торговая палатка” / “trading stall” or “торговый павильон” / “trading pavilion.” The verb used to describe the removal of these spaces is “сносить” / “remove, carry away,” a good transitive verb of motion, with the “с-” prefix indicating a movement down and away. The speakers express their opinions with the verbs “считать” / “to have an opinion” and “относиться” /” to relate to.” The full construction for the latter verb is “относиться к чему? как?” / “to relate to something in a certain way,” but, as is often the case in Russian, something that can be assumed from context is often omitted, so speakers say “я отношусь плохо” rather than “я отношусь к сносу ларьков плохо.”

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Click on the link to view the video in another window, follow along with the text below, and scroll down for the English translation.

Link to video at Телеканал Дождь
(the video is currently accessible to non-subscribers)


Мужчина в оранжевом пальто: Вообще жалко, на самом деле, потому что очень удобно было и оплатить телефон, и он хорошо работал, и хорошее помещение было. Я не знаю, зачем это делают, что вот это и что вот это. Я вообще против того, чтобы сносили ларьки.

Женщина в очках: Это идёт от директоров больших магазинов, для того, чтобы покупатели больше шли туда, потому что сейчас меньше — сами понимаете — народа. Им нужен приток туда.

Мужчина с седыми волосами: Хорошие ларёчки были, хорошие и красивые. Всё там доступно было, купить можно. Я считаю, лично, чересчур.

Девушка: Я довольна. Меньше антисанитарии. Очень хорошо.

Женщина в черном берете: Очень плохо отношусь. [Почему?] Ну, потому что неудобно стало вещи покупать.

Мужчина в черной шапке и очках: Надо спросить у населения: нужны эти ларьки или нет? А здесь какой-то — чёрт его знает.

Девушка с длинными волосами: У людей все эти палатки были в собственности, у них их отняли, никакой компенсации за это нет, и поэтому, как бы, я считаю, что это неправильно.

Пожилая женщина с тёмными волосами: Я здесь живу больше пяти… больше шестидесяти лет. [Вы рады, что их сносят?] Да. Не все, но здесь мне нравится.

Женщина в черном пальто: Ларьки очень мешают, и потом если, в случае чрезвычайных ситуаций они будут мешать эвакуации.

Пожилой мужчина в черном пальто: Очень хорошо отношусь. Просто замечательно!

Молодой человек с бородой: Это сюрприз. Я не знал, что это незаконная постройка. Сколько себе помню, здесь всегда была торговля.

Мужчина в бежевом пальто: Ну, конечно, непривычно, что их тут нету, а так, я особо их не посещал, поэтому мне всё равно.

Link to video at Телеканал Дождь


Man in orange coat: Overall it’s too bad, actually, because it was very convenient to pay the telephone bill, and it worked well, and it was a good space. I don’t know why they are doing this, this and that. In general I am against the demolition of the kiosks.

Woman in glasses: This is coming from the directors of large stores, in order that consumers go there more, because now — you yourself understand  — there are fewer people [in the big stores, because of the economic crisis]. They need an inflow [of people] there.

Man with grey hair: They were good little kiosks, good and attractive. Everything was accessible there, you could buy stuff. In my opinion, personally, it’s going too far.

Young woman: I am satisfied [or pleased, happy]. There’s less of an unsanitary situation. It’s very good.

Woman in black beret: I view it very negatively. (Journalist: Why?) Well, because now it became very inconvenient to buy things.

Man in black hat and glasses: They should ask the residents: are these kiosks needed or not? But here there’s some sort of… the devil knows what it is.

Young woman with long hair: All these booths were the property of some people, and they were taken away from them, and there’s no compensation at all for this, and therefore, like, I think that this is incorrect.

Older woman with dark hair: I’ve been living here more than fif… more than sixty years! (Journalist: You are glad that they are being removed?) Yes. Not all of them, but here I like it.

Woman in black coat: The kiosks really get in the way, and then, if… in the case of emergency situations they will get in the way of evacuation.

Older man in black coat: I view it very positively. It’s just wonderful!

Young man with beard: It’s a surprise. I didn’t know that this was an unlawful structure. As far as I can remember, there was always retail here.

Man in beige coat: Well, of course, I’m unaccustomed to them not being here, but otherwise, I didn’t particularly visit them, so it’s all the same to me.

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