Connect to share and comment

125-mile traffic jam in Russia lasts for days

125 miles of traffic has stranded Russians between St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Russia 125 mile traffic jamEnlarge
In this 2005 file photo, a traffic jam is seen on the bank of Moskva River with the Kremlin on the background, as a heavy snowfall hit the Russian capital. In December 2012, a 125-mile traffic jam left Russian drivers stranded and freezing over the weekend on a highway that connects Moscow and St. Petersburg. (MAXIM MARMUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Planning a road trip between St. Petersburg and Moscow? Traffic is pretty bad, so plan on bringing some snacks, water bottles, cash, a change of clothes, a pillow, a can of gas, vodka, diapers, a bucket, hand sanitizer and lots of toilet paper.

A 125-mile traffic jam left Russian drivers stranded and freezing over the weekend on a highway that connects Moscow and St. Petersburg. The gridlock occurred after an unusually heavy snowfall.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the real cause of the gridlock, however, was human error at the government level. “Drivers of course should be prepared for the fact that the weather in this country is very, very complicated and can change, and that there is always going to be snow,” he said at a meeting with his deputies, the Wall Street Journal reported. “But here there was no coordination between state structures.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin also acknowledged that officials had failed to clear the roads as well as they could have.. “Many drivers were stuck without provisions and fuel in the middle of a forest. This is not a European road but a Russian one, a forest road," he told the WSJ. 

More from GlobalPost: When the BRICs Crumble 

The gigantic traffic jam dwindled somewhat to 34 miles by Sunday evening, Ria Novosti reported.

Truckers and motorists were stuck in the jam for up to three days. They complained that roadside cafes were jacking up their prices and that local stations were running out of gasoline, Ria Novosti said. Eventually the government took note and set up warming stations and hot food centers along the traffic. They also set up a support hotline for stranded motorists. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/121203/125-mile-traffic-jam-russia-lasts-days