Soviet Star Turned Into SpongeBob SquarePants Character by Vandals

Russian news outlets are reporting that someone painted a Soviet-era star on top of a building to resemble the cartoon starfish Patrick.

  • Published 15 November 2016

On 10 November 2016, Russian-language media reported that a rather bleak-looking Soviet-era star atop a building in the western Russian city of Voronezh had been a bit more visually cheerier — someone had repurposed it by painting it to resemble Patrick, a starfish character from the popular cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants”

According to Russia Today, and English-language Russian government-funded news site, the vandal could face 15 days in detention if caught:

While social media users were quite amused with the stunt that surfaced online, Voronezh police were not so entertained. Now the fans of the US animated series — if found — could face 15 days in detention.

The building in the southwestern city is not considered a memorial, but it still has Soviet symbols, Poman Ponizovny, an official from Voronezh Central District, told RIA Novosti. Restoration works may cost the city up to 100,000 rubles ($1,500).

A poll under the photo in one of Voronezh online communities showed that most people — around 60 percent — found the stunt funny, while 39 percent say that it was an act of vandalism that shouldn’t go unpunished.

Patrick Star is a rather dim-witted, chubby, pink starfish on the television program, voiced by actor Bill Fagerbakke. CNET reports the vandalism first appeared on 25 October 2016.

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Brandon Echter
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes