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  2. Tanks, Putin’s portraits, carpets and tiles. How people attract attention to potholes on the Russian roads

Tanks, Putin’s portraits, carpets and tiles. How people attract attention to potholes on the Russian roads

Drivers' actions review

Road repair
by Elena Bayakina
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It’s not an easy task for Russian drivers to make officials repair the roads. When appeals and complaints do not help, imagination and improvised materials come to the rescue. The material of «7x7» contains examples of vivid actions against potholes on the roads.


On July 13, unknown activists of the Rybinsk district put portraits of President Vladimir Putin on the potholes. Users of social networks commented on this act: "Repaired by "the guarantor".


Photo of the VK group "Podslushano Rybinsk"


In 2015, unknown people painted portraits of local officials around the potholes in Kostroma so that they were placed at the mouth area. The main character of anonymous artists became the former head of the city administration Victor Emets.


Photo of the movement "Kostroma without potholes"



The road from Bui to Galich in the Kostroma region was "buried" by unknown travelers — they stuck the homemade cross in the rut of the asphalt and piled up flowers.


Photo of the VK group "Podslushano Bui"


Pothole’s Birthday

In the spring of 2016, Ulyanovsk activists celebrated birthday of the pothole. Local residents noticed how road workers put asphalt in a puddle in 2013, and three years later they gathered with a cake to celebrate pothole’s birthday. They tied the balloons.




In 2012 Yaroslavl drivers distributed car stickers with the inscriptions "Yaroslavl is a city without roads", "I pay taxes, where are the roads?".

The road must know its hero

In 2015, unknown activists installed signboards indicating the contractors who repaired these roads near the most broken roads of Yaroslavl.


Photo by Evgeny Ivanov


Photo in the pothole

After foreign fans started to make photos in a big pothole in Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl citizens adopted the idea.

Direction signs

Drivers often mark the potholes with special signs.


Photo of the VK group "Podslushano Yaroslavl"


The Rybinsk region have gone further and made a swearing sign to brighter characterize the danger of the road.

And in Samara, the activists of the "All-Russian People's Front" coloured the pothole with special paint, which glows in the dark. The volunteers called their action "Pothole, light up".

Roads for tanks

Petrozavodsk activist Ilya Galstang made a series of photos with toy tanks in the potholes of the city to draw attention to their condition. After that, he decided to establish a public organization that would take care of road repair control.


Photo by Ilya Galstang


Bucket of asphalt

In 2014, Yoshkar-Ola resident Evgeny Pirogov brought a bucket of asphalt for road repairs to the mayor of the city Oleg Voinov.

In 2016, Pirogov was sentenced to two years in prison for extremist publications in the social network "VKontakte", he was released in the spring of 2018.

Tasteful repair

Of stones and carpet

Petrozavodsk retired Boris Strohalshchikov filled the pothole in his yard with stones and put carpet on top after no one repaired it in two years.


Photo by Boris Strogalshikov


The Dymkovo potholes

In 2016, Kirov activists, organized by an activist Vitaly Bramm, repaired several potholes and painted them to the color of the Dymkovo toy, which is considered a Vyatka symbol.



Carpet potholes

In 2016, the same Kirov activists repaired the potholes with carpets. Bramm specifically instructed the volunteers that their actions did not look like an uncoordinated rally. A year later the Kirov potholes were covered with carpets again, but without publicity.


Photo by Denis Strelkov


Ceramic potholes

In June 2018, the Irkutsk artist Ivan Kravchenko patched the potholes of his city with ceramic tiles. They became brighter and more visible on the road.

According to the Center for the Infrastructure Economy, 40 to 60% of roads in the Russian regions, except roads in donor regions with a surplus budget (KhMAO, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Moscow, St. Petersburg), do not correspond to the standards. In some regions of the Russian Federation, there are 80%of "bad" roads. Expenditures of the federal road fund in 2017 amounted to 675.7 billion rubles, according to the Ministry of Finance, more than 260 billion of which are directed to repair federal roads, and more than 125 billion were received from the federal fund. To reduce the burden on regional road funds in 2018, officials began to transfer important highways to federal property. After the repair, some of them will be returned to the ownership of regions.

Daniil Kuznetsov, «7x7»


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