Wednesday, April 19, 2017

‘Russia is the Only Country Dying Out in Peacetime,’ Villager Responds to Medvedev

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 19 – After Dmitry Medvedev can’t answer whether there will be work for villagers, one of their number observes that “Russia is the only country dying out in peacetime, where residents of rural areas and small towns are joining the ranks of the poor … and where 70 percent of the male population won’t live to pension age.”

            On the Manganese portal, Aleksandr Korenyeva said she was extremely disappointed that the Russian prime minister promised “to try to lift up almost every village” but couldn’t say where Russians there would work (,1,2866384-medvedev-zayavil-chto-v-derevnyah-ne-nuzhno-takogo-kolichestva-naseleniya.html).

            Yesterday, Medvedev visited the Tambov Bacon Factory and asked for questions. Korenyeva says she has no doubt that all those inquiries were cleared in advance but even so, Medvedev was not able to give a clear answer to the most important one about providing work for villagers.

            The prime minister continued to display his ignorance of realities, she continued, when he declared that it is necessary “above all” to retain young people in the villages by ensuring that conditions in villages must be “more or less similar” to those in cities. But that would be possible only if there was an economic foundation for the villages. There isn’t, Korenyeva says.

            Then Medvedev made the clearest statements of his own failure to understand what is happening outside the cities: he said that only “private capital provides work places and that this doesn’t depend on the government,” as if government policies had nothing to do with the number of work places.

            The prime minister even suggested that in his opinion, “the village is beginning to be reborn,” although he added that “if the villages empty out, that means that the agrarians have begun to work better.”  And he concluded with words that will be recalled by villagers whenever reference is made to his Marie Antoinette-like statement that there is no money but hold on.

            Medvedev observed that when he had just jointed the government in 2006, “35 percent of the population lived in the villages; now, 25 percent does … This doesn’t always mean that everything is bad: In a number of cases it means that labor has become more highly qualified, the productivity of labor is growing, and therefore we don’t need so many people in the villages.”

            “But at the same time,” the premier said, “this is all the same a trend that generates concerns, and the state must keep track of it.”

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