Thursday, May 17, 2018

Village without Food or Water Voted 100 Percent for Putin, but an Impoverished Woman in Another Wants to Overthrow Him

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 17 – Two video clips that contain important lessons about Russia have gone viral there is recent days. One features interviews with Russians in a Krasnoyarsk village of 25 who voted 100 percent for Vladimir Putin even though they must rely on food and water brought in from the outside.

            And the other contains a cri de coeur from a Russian woman who says she is too poor to live anywhere but in a barracks but would willingly take part in demonstrations calling for his overthrow if she could afford the price of a ticket to get to even the closest city where such protests have taken place. 

            A female resident of Loshchinka, one of three villages in Krasnoyarsk kray that voted 100 percent for Putin, told Siber.Realii that she and her fellow villagers did so because Putin’s opponents hadn’t done anything while the Kremlin leader at least ensures that she gets her 8500 ruble (140 US dollar) pension on a regular basis.

            Life is nonetheless hard, she says. The village currently has no store and bread has to come once a week from the larger settlement of Borodino. Water is brought in by tractor every 15 days. And a bus connects her village with the outside world two days a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. 

            Those who have viewed the video clip, reports, say that the woman’s attitudes reflect the existence of “the Stockholm syndrome” among many impoverished Russians, the absence of news sources other than those controlled by the government, and the survival of serf-like attitudes to this day.   

            But the second video clip shows that it is a profound mistake to extrapolate from that village to all Russians.  It features a woman who has four children, lives in a two-story barracks because she doesn’t have enough income to move to a communal apartment, and can scarcely make ends meet.

            She, however, is not happy about her situation and wants to take part in political actions to overthrow Putin whom she blames for many of her problems.  “In the barracks, there is no hot water or drain, and the toilet is outside in the street.” She says she spend much of her income to keep warm.

            And she adds, she is ready to take part in protests in a major city but doesn’t have the money to buy a ticket to get there.  “I am dissatisfied with the authorities, and so are many others,” she adds.

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