This is a View of Moscow's new park, Zaryadye, covered with a little snow near the Kremlin and Red Square on Dec. 4. City officials had to bring in fake snow Monday for a New Year's decoration. Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA-EFE
Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Moscow crews resorted to dumping artificial snow Monday at the city center near Red Square to decorate a New Year's display, putting the spotlight on one of its warmest winters ever.
The fake snow was used for a snowboarding hill at the location. Temperatures in Moscow reached 5.4C, or 41.7F, on Dec. 18, beating a record that had stood since 1886.
"Winters used to be a lot harder here," said former foreman Alexander Stanko, 62. "You'd expect a few days with really strong frost, and there would almost always be snow by the new year. It has been getting warmer, definitely. That's why, as you can see, we have this funny snow over here this year."
Zaryadye Park director Ivan Demidov said officials decided to use artificial snow "to bring the spirit of New Year to Muscovites."
Officials in Moscow, who typically pay millions to remove snow during the winter, said they did not pay for the snow to be brought in.
"The snow was taken from our skating rinks," Deputy Mayor Alexei Nemeryuk told Russian media. "Machines are cutting ice there, so some snow remains. We normally melt it down, but this time we're reusing it."
Moscow is used to getting snow -- lots of it. In February 2018, more than 22 inches of snow fell in central Moscow over 36 hours, forcing city officials to call a rare snow day.