Red Bull’s unauthorised drift stunt left UNESCO World Heritage Site damaged with tyre marks

Red Bull, the company synonymous with energy drinks, is known for their audacious stunts, especially those involving fast cars and/or adrenaline-pumping action. They’re usually well-planned and professionally filmed, and the numerous videos on its YouTube channel certainly seem to support that claim. However, its latest stunt attempt at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ukraine has drew ire from the city council and officials.

Instagram Stories posted by Red Bull Ukraine’s official account, now deleted. (Source: BYKVU)

The stunt involved two cars drifting around a monument in front of the Saint Sofia Cathedral in Kyiv – a building listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although Red Bull did ask the city for permission prior to filming, Kyiv Deputy Mayor Konstiantyn Usov said in a Facebook post that city officials turned the down the request in order to preserve “one of the most sacred places of Ukraine”.

The Red Bull F1 Team’s helipad donut stunt is one of the company’s most well-known antics. Check out the video here.

Instagram post from one of the drivers, Aleksandr Grinchuk. (Screenshot: grinchukdrift/Instagram)

Despite the city’s refusal, Red Bull still went ahead with the plan of filming with local rap star Alyona Alyona in the passenger seat – and apparently without any safety precautions, such as cordoning off the location.

“Red Bull did it early in the morning, secretly, with no security measures to protect pedestrians, risking dozens of lives,” Usov wrote in the Facebook post. “People would go to work in the morning across the Square and had to avoid the drifting cars. The results could have been indeed tragical.”

Tyre marks left behind by the stunt. Source: (Konstiantyn Usov/Facebook)

In addition to endangering the public, the stunt also left tyre marks on more than 2,000 sq meters of traditional Kyiv yellow bricks at the Sofiiska Square.

Ukrainian news outlet Bykvu reported that Red Bull staff were seen at the square later that day attempting to remove the tyre marks, with a representative saying that “it will be better than it was”, but to no avail.

Speaking of drift, check out this selection of sideways action perfection at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed!

One of the drift cars used in the stunt. (Source: conorshanahan79/Instagram)

The outlet also reported that the police have opened a probe into the incident, despite being accused by Deputy Mayor Usov of green-lighting the stunt earlier.

City agencies are still calculating the monetary value of the damage as a result of the stunt, and will be appealing to the prosecutor’s office in an attempt to recoup the losses.


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