Authorities in Moscow have threatened to finally outlaw the city’s beloved shawarma kebabs, claiming that the stalls that sell them have repeatedly failed to comply with sanitation standards.
“We are ridding the streets of all shawarma. It’s going to disappear completely,” city official Alexey Nemeryuk told Russian radio station Komsomolskaya Pravda.
The head of the Moscow department of trade and services added that kiosk owners had refused “to bear even the slightest costs of maintaining proper sanitation standards”.
Nemeryuk later told TV Rain that his comments had been misinterpreted and that he wasn’t calling for a ban on all stalls, just one in particular.
But the comments have outraged Muscovites who, distraught at the thought of loosing their favourite meaty snack, have taken to Twitter in protest using the hashtag #ShaurmaZhivi – which can be translated as “long live shawarma” or “shawarma will survive”.
Some compared the motives of Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin to Ivan the Terrible, who infamously killed his son.
Another wasn’t taking any chances and posted a photo of his now endangered lunch.
One user put their faith in Iron Man to save the day:
City officials have repeatedly tried to stop kiosks in Moscow selling kebabs.
In 2006, the authorities instituted new health and safety regulations, and a year later inspectors vowed to put a stop the sale of shawarma all together.
In 2010 Sobyanin, then the city’s new mayor, ordered the demolition of kiosks in a bid to rid the Moscow of “illegal” structures and “bring order to city planning”.
Not stopping at shawarma, Nemeryuk also warned that street kiosks selling ice cream could soon disappear.