MOSCOW, Russia – A fed-up farmer kicked up a stink — and made clear his views on the banking system — by repaying a loan with the equivalent value in manure.
Alexander Bakshayev, 42, dumped a cartload of animal dung on the front steps of the bank in western Siberia, local media said Friday.
The manure was worth 40,000 rubles ($610) — the exact amount he owed the bank, Bakshayev told Sibkray.ru.
He decorated the heap with miniature gallows and posters saying “Down with credit slavery” and “Bankers are the enemies of the people,” according to news site Pro-sibir.org.
“The whole of Russia somehow owes something now to these lickspittle good-for-nothing bankers with nothing to do,” Bakshayev was quoted as saying.
He owns 70 cows and 20 piglets but his total debt is 1 million rubles ($15,400), he told Sibkray.ru. That's 34 times the average monthly salary in Russia of about 29,000 rubles ($450).
The Kremlin has said it relies on Russian farmers to fill the gap caused by an import ban on Western foodstuffs imposed in retribution for sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
However, punitive interest rates have left businesses struggling for money.
Bakshayev’s creditor, the state-run Sberbank, blasted his stunt as “hooliganism” but police in the city of Kuybyshev saw no reason to detain the farmer.
Security guards did not appear in the hour that it took Bakshayev to dump the manure, plant the gallows and pose for interviews in front of the heap.
- Alexey Eremenko