JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Health-Care Cuts Spark Protests in Russian Heartland” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“The country has 100 billionaires, and yet more than a third of Russians can’t afford to buy two pairs of shoes a year.”

“… Concern … that traditionally loyal sections of the population are turning against the authorities [have] raised an alarm in the government [sources say] …. Protests used to be confined to the big cities. Now they’re in the Putin heartlands, often barren places where promises of a better life ring increasingly hollow. … In Okulovka, a town of 10,000, about 500 people turned out for a March 16 rally denouncing the authorities’ policy of ‘optimizing’ medical services … [with] cutbacks and [the] suppressing [of] wages for doctors and nurses. … While the protest in subzero temperatures lasted two hours, a concert held at the same time in the town’s House of Culture to commemorate the … annexation of Crimea … attracted a mere handful. …”

Click here for: “Putin’s Health-Care Cuts Spark Protests in Russian Heartland; The country has 100 billionaires, and yet more than a third of Russians can’t afford to buy two pairs of shoes a year.” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov