One Russian in Four Lacks an Indoor Toilet, One of Many Signs There are Now ‘Four Distinct Russias’
(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019)
According to a new report by Russia’s state statistical agency, Rosstat, 35 million Russians live in houses or apartments without indoor toilets, 47 million do not have hot water, 29 million don’t have any running water inside their residences, and 22 million do not have central heating (ehorussia.com/new/node/17679).
In fact, only 62.7 percent of the Russian population has the usual accoutrements of modern existence – water in the house, plumbing, heating and gas or electric ranges, Rosstat says, a fact that must seem incredible to those who visit only Moscow or St. Petersburg but a fact of life for those who lives beyond the ring roads of the capitals.
Russian blogger Oleg Borovsky says that the image many have of Russia as one unified country is wrong. “In Russia today, there are practically no cities except for Moscow. Even St. Petersburg is beginning to recall places in distant regions, half-abandoned settlements, and aging infrastructure (newizv.ru/news/society/07-01-2019/ot-metropolii-do-kolonii-rossiya-razdelilas-na-chetyre-kategorii).
With regard to other “cities,” he continues, there is “nothing to say: there degradation and decline are obvious literally to the unaided eye. It is sufficient to go 50 versts from Moscow and you will see that there the snow isn’t cleaned from the streets (even in Moscow oblast!) let alone all the rest” of the trash.
Because people in these places cannot get medical attention or education or good jobs, they are forced to move to Moscow or, failing that, to St. Petersburg. In those cities, there is a chance, admittedly only a chance to get these things and to be in a position to defend oneself against officialdom.
“In the provinces, the ordinary man is a nonentity. And any attempt to achieve something often will end with big problems for him. In the best case, he won’t get what he hopes for; in the worst, he risks his freedom or even his life,” Borovsky continues. As a result, those who can leave these places do.
First of all they move from rural areas to oblast centers: In some oblasts, such as Novgorod, there are only a few thousand people left outside the city. Then, they move to Moscow. And the rest of the country suffers from the worst kind of “anti-Darwinian natural selection.”
Those left behind are “alcoholics, invalids, and pensioners,” he suggests.
That has important national security implications, Borovsky continues. If someone attacked Russia now, “then in a number of places there wouldn’t be anyone left to defend or even organize a partisan war.” And many who are in these places would “welcome the invaders with flowers and embraces – or at a minimum, remain indifferent.”
Russia is emptying out, while Moscow is growing like a tumor, a trend that is leading to the disintegration of the country. In fact, he argues, “the disintegration of Rsusia is “ALREADY going on. It is a fact” with the country divided into four parts: the metropolitan center (Moscow), the provinces (Moscow oblast), the periphery (oblasts adjoining Moscow oblast), and “the colonies – the entire country beyond that.
Moscow “really lives,” Borovsky says. The provinces “survive” because of their closeness to Moscow as does to a less extent the periphery. But “the colonies are emptying out and will continue to do so unless something radically changes. Given that “nature does not love a vacuum,” someone else, someone foreign, will eventually come into them.
Right now, however, “a real demographic reformatting of Russia is taking place,” as a result of which everything and everyone is being concentrated within “a radius of 200 kilometers around Moscow.” Russians are leaving everywhere else. Consequently, within this century, we will see the disintegration of Russia.
And what is the most horrible thing about this, Borovsky concludes, is that “those chiefly responsible for this process are located inside of Russia” because “what is taking place in Russia is the result of the absolutely insane, inept and incompetent administration of the country.” It is certainly not the work of foreigners, however pleased they may be.
[Article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/01/one-russian-in-four-lacks-indoor-toilet.html]