COVID-19: Russians burn 24-metre castle as a hopeful goodbye to the pandemic

A giant castle symbolising the coronavirus pandemic has been set alight in Russia.

The burning of the tower on Saturday (local time) marked the end-of-winter festival in the Kaluga region.

The wooden effigy was burned for Maslenitsa, a pre-Christian holiday that represents the beginning of spring and the week before lent.

Artist Nikolai Polissky said he was inspired to create the 24-metre structure as a hopeful goodbye to the pandemic, which has killed tens of thousands in the country.

"We can compare it (the coronavirus) to an evil wizard or cannibal, so we decided to build him a castle or kind of palace, to finally do away with him by burning it," he told the Associated Press.

It comes as Russia's daily COVID-19 tally rose by another 10,000.