"Moscow's government, led by powerful and long-reigning Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, has indicated that clearing the capital's streets of snow is simply too expensive. Instead, officials are weighing a plan to seed the clouds with liquid nitrogen or dry ice to keep heavy snow from falling inside the city limits.
Word of the proposal has sent a shudder through Moscow just as the first dark, snowy days have fallen on the capital. It has also piqued the surrounding region, which would receive the brunt of the displaced snowfall, and has raised concerns among ecologists.
'I was very surprised because [the mayor] never even asked us,' says Alexei Yablokov, who sits on the mayor's ecological council and has concerns about the proposal, including the environmental effects and pressure on surrounding villages. 'We never discussed it at all.'"