Moscow’s Response to Snow Compared with Other Cities Sparks Inconvenient Questions, Sociologist Says
February 4 – Snow hits almost all Russian cities hard, sociologist Aleksey
Roshchin says; but Moscow alone among them has the capacity to remove it in a
timely fashion. Muscovites are by their nature upset that things aren’t even
better for them, forgetting that their complaints only highlight how much
better they have it.
Roshchin says, no one elsewhere would object if Moscow received “20 to 30
percent” more, but they are increasingly angry that the capital gets several orders
of magnitude more, that they are sending their taxes to the city, and that
Moscow is sending them back not only less money for basic services but its
that pattern, he continues, highlights an increasingly inconvenient reality:
because the center takes so much from the regions and gives back so little, “Russia
can allow itself only one city with a NORMAL city budget.” That is Moscow, and everyone
elsewhere, even in St. Petersburg, has to make do with something less.
removal may seem like a small thing, Roschin says; but when one city gets the
chance to do it more or less right and no other city or town in the country
does, that makes people in the latter angry and carries with it for the one
city that benefits “no small political risks.”
that, the sociologist suggests, it would be far better if Muscovites stopped
complaining about shortcomings or praising their city’s snow removal services
to the skies. Both the one and the other set them apart, and increasingly are
becoming occasions for bitter reflection by the more than 80 percent of
Russians who do not live in the capital agglomeration.