The shutdown of operations of the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany was followed almost immediately by the online release of a short video that attempts to show what could happen to an obstinate Europe this winter without its usual supplies of plentiful and affordable Russian gas.
Neither Gazprom nor its subsidiaries has laid claim to uncredited clip or provided a link to it on their corporate websites.
Widely reposted on Russian social media and messaging platforms, the video shows a person in a Gazprom corporate uniform pulling a switch that apparently halts a turbine driving a pipeline pump, with a pressure gauge then falling to zero.
The clip then cuts to a sequence of shots of a freezing snow-covered city alternating with views over European capitals and their renewable energy installations, set to the tune of a little-known Soviet-era song about an approaching long and chilly winter.
However, the message may have backfired. Alert viewers identified the freezing city in the video as Krasnoyarsk in East Siberia, which has a population of more than 1 million people — and no connection to a gas pipeline.
Krasnoyarsk burns coal to generate heat, electrical power and quite a bit of pollution during long Siberian winters. Major cities and small towns in East Siberia and Russia’s other far-eastern regions have remained beyond the reach of gas trunk lines; while Gazprom has invested billions of dollars into the moribund — at least for now — Nord Stream 1 and 2.
The irony will not be lost on Russians this winter, thanks to a little internet sleuthing.