Staunton, June 23 – Many regions have looked to Moscow for help in saving the company towns on which much of their population depends, but few have taken the next step and suggested that the central Russian government is directly responsible for their plight. But now deputies in Buryatia’s parliament have taken exactly that step.
Speaking to the People’s Khural this morning, Leonid Silivestrov told his fellow deputies that the city of Babushkin’s most important factory was being closed down “on Moscow’s orders,” infuriating the workers and the residents of the city and republic and setting in motion the closure of other facilities there (newsru.com/russia/23jun2016/bab.html, baikal-daily.ru/news/16/211304/, gazeta-n1.ru/news/41941/ and baikalfinans.com/ekonomika/v-buryatii-zakryitie-gradoobrazuyuschego-relsosvarochnogo-predpriyatiya-32-grozit-sotsialnoy-katastrofoy-gorodu-babushkin-23062016-14952318.html).
Silivestrov and the other deputies argued that there are places in other parts of Russia where closing one factory would not destroy an entire community but that in the case of Babushkin, that was exactly what Moscow’s decision will mean. Their anger is all the greater because of Medvedev’s recent comment that “there is no money, but hang in there.”
One Buryat journalist proposed on his Facebook account that he had an idea on how to save the factory: Perhaps, Arkady Zarubin said, the factory could be repurposed to produce “gingerbread” that the Russian prime minister could hand out to the suffering population given that he has nothing else to offer.The workers and deputies have begun collecting signatures on petitions to the republic leadership, to Dmitry Medvedev and to Vladimir Putin demanding that they reverse this “order” from the capital and garnering support from pro-labor groups elsewhere who are also worried about the deindustrialization of the country (forum-msk.org/material/news/11931546.html).