Residents of Russia’s Penza region have raised concerns about local authorities’ plans for a mass burial of citizens in a video that was widely viewed on social media.
The clip of a group of people from the town of Zarechny, some 400 miles southeast of Moscow, came amid Russian claims that Kiev is targeting Russian territory. There are concerns that the war in Ukraine could spill over into the aggressor’s territory, as well as the increasing casualties of Russian troops.
In the video, a man says he saw a drone coming from the Saratov region in southern Penza Oblast. A woman then explains that the local administration did not provide any information “where children would be taken in the event of a bomb attack”.
She was referring to an article published in the local newspaper Vedomosti Zarechny Headline: “How people from Zarechny are buried in wartime.” It describes a decree reserving part of the city cemetery for urgent burials, involving 16 people, a bulldozer and a tractor.
The play is also asking for funds to pay for protective equipment needed for funerals, such as disinfectant for coffins and body bags.
“That’s a big concern for us citizens,” said the woman, who was not named, “we don’t want to be buried, but we still prefer to hide.” As of Monday, the video has been viewed more than 68,000 times.
The video was tweeted by Ukrainian internal affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko, who wrote: “People in Russia were shown a plan of their mass burial. Russians don’t want to be ‘buried’.”
“Residents of a Russian town near Penza asked their officials where to hide in case of bombings, but in reply they received a plan to prepare for emergency mass burials.” wrote Devanawho often tweets about the war, alongside the clip.
The decree was reported by other local media, including the Our City Penza website. It was reported that a similar resolution had been adopted by the Penza administration in September, dealing with the establishment of mass graves that could hold up to 100 people.
An article published on the website outlined a policy for “urgent burial of wartime bodies” and named cemeteries in villages across the oblast that could accommodate 20,700 places.
It said forensic examiners would determine the cause of death and issue death certificates in a process also involving the Russian Interior Ministry.
latestpagenews has emailed Zarechny City Council for comment.