Staunton, April 23 – Below are 26 more stories from Russia this week that deserve to be noted because they shed significant light on Russia, its government and its people, but that I was unable to write up as full-scale Windows:
finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/putin-poruchil-pravitelstvu-sozdat-spisok-nedruzhestvennykh-stran-1030340042 and znak.com/2021-04-23/putin_ogranichil_rabotu_rossiyan_v_posolstvah_i_konsulstvah_nedruzhestvennyh_stranPutin Orders Government to Compile List of ‘Unfriendly Countries. Vladimir Putin has told the government to come up with a list of those countries which are “unfriendly” to Russia and has imposed restrictions on Russians regarding working in the diplomatic missions of such countries in Russia. The United States reportedly is already on this list (
3. Inflation Hitting Poor Harder than Anyone Else. Food prices are rising three or more times the overall inflation fate, hitting the poor harder than other groups because they spend a greater portion of their incomes on food and forcing many of them to cut back on meats, fruits and vegetables (ng.ru/economics/2021-04-22/4_8136_economics1.html, ehorussia.com/new/node/23278 and krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/84979). There is some indication that inflation is especially high in non-Russian areas (doshdu.com/na-severnom-kavkaze-ceny-na-produkty-vyrosli-ot-13-do-21/).
4. Graduates of Russian Agricultural Schools aren’t Pursuing Careers They’ve Trained For. A serious problem has arisen because ever more graduates of agricultural higher educational institutions are taking their degrees but then not going into the work for which they have been trained (iq.hse.ru/news/459392149.html).
5. Education Ministry Wants to Ban Foreign Agents from Engaging in Enlightenment Work. The Ministry of Enlightenment wants anyone who has been classified as a foreign agent or working for one to be prohibited from engaging in public lectures and other forms of enlightenment activity (rbc.ru/society/24/04/2021/6084567f9a79477a5b80ca07).
6. State Should Build Stalin Center Opposite Yeltsin Center. A Moscow commentator has suggested that the government should open a Stalin Center opposite the Yeltsin Center and then see which one attracts more Russians (regnum.ru/news/society/3251948.html).
7. Russian Population to Decline by 2.8 Million by 2030, Health Specialist Says. Guzel Uludmbekova, a specialist on public health, says that the Russian population will decline by as much as 2.8 million over the next nine years (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/v-rf-estestvennaya-ubyl-naseleniya-sostavila-pochti-700-tysyach-chelovek/).
8. Forty Percent of Russians Say Blocking Twitter Restricts Free Speech. Almost 40 percent of Russians tell Levada Center pollsters that they view the blocking of Twitter as a form of limitation on freedom of speech (mbk-news.appspot.com/news/ogranicheniem-svobody-slova/).
9. Russian Government Rejects Requiring Political Candidates to Certify Their Mental Health. Izvestiya reports that proposals that the government require candidates for public office, including the Duma, present certification that they are not mentally ill and do not suffer from alcoholism or drug dependency have not found support (https://iz.ru/news/586716).
10. Those Russians Convicted of Corruption Treated with Kid Gloves. Every third Russian convicted of corruption is given a suspended sentence and almost half are only fined, far lighter punishments than are inflicted on those convicted of other crimes (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/84952).
11. Russian Procuracy to Block Any Outlet Carrying False Information about Terrorist Acts. The Russian procuracy has been given the power to block any media outlet that carries false information about terrorist actions, a power that critics say means that almost all outlets are now at risk of suppression if the Kremlin wants to (profile.ru/society/lozhnye-soobshheniya-o-teraktax-budut-blokirovat-854377/).
12. US Said Training to Invade Chukotka and Kamchatka. A Moscow commentator says that the US military is engaging in exercises that suggest Washington wants to invade Chukotka and Kamchatka (https://vz.ru/world/2021/4/22/1095899.html).
13. Attention to Lenin’s Jewish and Kalmyk Ancestors Increases. In Soviet times, only White Russian emigres focused on the Jewish and Kalmyk ancestors of the founder of the Soviet state. That subject was taboo in the USSR. But now, ever more researchers in Russia are looking into the matter (gorod-812.ru/taynyi-predkov-lenina/).
14. Airline Fined for Delaying Flight to Accommodate Regional Official. Angara airlines was fined 20,000 rubles (300 US dollars) for delaying a flight carrying more than 40 passengers so that the plane carrying the Transbaikal governor could take off at a more convenient time (meduza.io/news/2021/04/22/aviakompaniyu-angara-oshtrafovali-na-20-tysyach-rubley-ona-snyala-s-reysa-bolee-40-passazhirov-radi-vyleta-gubernatora-zabaykalya).
15. Yekaterinburg Residents Say They’d Like to Bring Back Executions for Bureaucrats. An informal poll conducted by the Znak news agency in Yekaterinburg found that many people would like to bring back executions for those bureaucrats who engage in corruption or otherwise violate the public trust (znak.com/2021-04-16/rossiyane_hotyat_vernut_rasstrely_chinovnikov_i_zapretit_ih_detyam_uchitsya_za_rubezhom_opros).
16. FSB Reports Finding Underground Arms Producers in More than 20 Regions. The FSB continues to try to take control of the illegal arms trade among Russians and reports that its agents have exposed and closed down underground arms manufacturers in more than 20 regions (echo.msk.ru/news/2824310-echo.html).
17. Independent Economist Says ‘About 80 Percent’ of Russians are Poor. Vladimir Khomeriki says that far more Russians are poor than the government admits. According to him, “about 80 percent” are now properly described as living in poverty (realtribune.ru/v-rossii-okolo-60-grazhdan-zhivut-za-chertoj-bednosti).
18. Defense Ministry Puts Its Civilian Employees in Uniforms. In a move that some say presages an expansion of the size of the Russian armed forced, the defense ministry is putting ever more of its civilian employees in uniform (versia.ru/minoborony-vozvrashhaet-oficerskie-pogony-grazhdanskomu-personalu).
19. Lack of Progressive Income Tax Exacerbating Russia’s Demographic Problem. One analyst says that Russia’s lack of a progressive income tax is one of the reasons behind the declining birthrate there (znakanune.ru/articles/116885/).
20. Oligarch Puts Posts and Then Takes Down Criticism of Russian Government Statistics. Oleg Deripaska posted an attack on the ways Rosstat manipulates data and then quickly took it down, replacing it with praise of Putin (newsru.com/finance/19apr2021/deripaskasmart.html).
21. Having Crushed Opposition, Kremlin Now Going After Journalism. Opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov says that the Kremlin, having crushed the opposition, is now moving to crush journalism by limiting the ability of independent journalists to cover events government doesn’t want covered (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/zhurnalistov-na-mitingakh-obyazhut-nosit-nagrudnyy-nomernoy-znak-i-qr-kod/ and rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/04/19/1898061.html).
22. Number of Employed Falls in All North Caucasus Republics. Over the last three years, the number of people in all North Caucasus republics has fallen. The worst case is North Ossetia where that figure has dropped 18.4 percent (doshdu.com/vo-vseh-respublikah-severnogo-kavkaza-sokratilos-chislo-zanjatyh-na-rynke-truda/).
23. ‘If Russia Loses Armenia, It will Lose the North Caucasus,’ Yerevan Analyst Warns. Artashes Gegamyan says that Russia is at risk of losing the North Caucasus if it loses its influence in Armenia (https://regnum.ru/news/polit/3246995.html).
24. 200,000 Uzbek Workers in Russia are Illegals and Face Deportation. Tashkent says that more than 200,000 Uzbeks are working in Russian illegally and face deportation “if they do not come ‘out of the shadows” by June 15 (ria.ru/20210417/deportatsiya-1728700231.html).
25. Russia Struggling to Cope with Two Common Urban Problems, Stalking and Graffiti. Many of Russia’s problems are uniquely its own, but others are common to many societies. The latter, which include stalking and graffiti, are nonetheless very serious and sparking discussions of what should be done (svoboda.org/a/31214978.html and gorod-812.ru/20-schitaet-chto-nikakoe-graffiti-ne-mozhet-byt-zakrasheno/).
26. Russian Authorities Ban Fishing by Northern Peoples whose Lives Depend Upon It. There are many ways to kill off a nation. One is by denying it the right to practice its traditional way of life. That is what Russian officials are doing in Magadan against the Kamcahdals, Orochi, and Eskimos by denying them the right to fish (nazaccent.ru/content/35578-v-magadanskoj-oblasti-kamchadalam-orocham-eskimosam.html).