Russians shocked as banned Western food destroyed

MOSCOW - The sight of vast amounts of banned foreign food being bulldozed, buried or burned is causing controversy in Russia.

Tens of thousands of people have joined a protest petition to President Vladimir Putin.

For the past year, Russia has banned most fresh produce from countries imposing economic sanctions against Russia over the illegal annexation of Crimea. Now anyone caught breaking the ban will have their produce seized and destroyed.


Belgorod, western Russia: A bulldozer destroys banned foreign cheese.

As the presidential decree came into effect on Thursday, state TV ran reports accompanied by vivid images of huge, round cheeses being dumped and crushed.

Reporters hailed a crackdown on contraband, but many Russians are deeply disturbed by the development.

"If they start destroying food, what next? It's like our authorities don't care about the people," argues Muscovite Olga Saveleva, who has launched an online petition against the decree. It has attracted more than 285,000 signatures.

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