LOST: 20 Metric Tons of Latvian Cheese - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

LOST: 20 Metric Tons of Latvian Cheese

(Image: RT on YouTube)

Russian president Vladimir Putin has finally taken a stand against his country’s eternal enemy: food.

Thanks to mutual sanctions between Russia and Europe, a no-tolerance policy has been placed on imported “Western” foodstuffs. As reported by the New York Times, a ban on food imported from Europe was put in place around a year ago in response to sanctions placed on Russia by the EU, which in turn were put in place in protest of Russia’s actions in the Ukraine.

The end result of this political boxing match hit home on Thursday, when hundreds of tons of sanctioned food items collected by supporters of Russia’s ban were destroyed in a staggeringly wasteful display. In one case, over a hundred tons of illegal ham was simply fed into an incinerator, while in Smolensk, contraband tomatoes got sauced.

Illegal food, and this includes any food that is not properly labeled or cannot be accurately sourced, has been trickling across the Russian border ever since the ban was put in place, coming in from places like Belarus and Kazakstan. According to a report on the Latvian Public Broadcasting site, a shipment carrying 20 metric tons of Latvian cheese, which had been marked as Russian, was confiscated in the city of Orenberg, and added to the nauseating (for a number of reasons) pile of food to be mechanically destroyed and put in a landfill.

According to that same report, while this grand gesture was just the beginning, Russia will be destroying contraband Western foods on a daily basis from now on, if need be. The specter of Soviet-era bread lines does not seem to be rattling its chains quite loud enough.

See video of the destruction below, via Ruptly.