Staunton, May 21 – 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:
Moscow Blames Foreign Propaganda for Luring Russians Abroad. The Russian council of ministers says Russians would travel within their own country more if it foreign propaganda wasn’t luring them abroad. But in addition to cost and pandemic restrictions, nearly seven million Russians now can’t go anyway because of debts. As Turkey is off limits for many, Italy is now the most popular destination (znak.com/2021-05-21/v_kabmine_schitayut_chto_rossiyane_ezdyat_otdyhat_za_granicu_iz_za_propagandy, vtimes.io/2021/05/19/okolo-7-millionov-rossiyan-ne-mogut-viehat-za-granitsu-iz-za-dolgov-a5094aif.ru/society/people/v_kakie_strany_edut_na_otdyh_zhiteli_rf_infografika
2. Putin Says He’ll Beat Off Anyone who Tries to Take Away Part of Russia. In typically crude terms, Vladimir Putin says he will beat the teeth of anyone who tries to eat away at Russian territory, even though critics have noted that the current Kremlin leader has made territorial concessions to China, Azerbaijan and other countries (svpressa.ru/politic/article/299007/).
Siloviki Shut Down Zemtsvo Congress 20 Minutes after It Opens. Russian police swooped in to close down the Zemtsvo Congress in Novgorod whose participants sought to call attention to the democratic traditions of Russia outside of Moscow (rosbalt.ru/russia/2021/05/22/1902833.html
4. Columbine-Style Violence in Russia Product of Moscow’s Aggressiveness, Duma Deputy Says. Oksana Pushkina, a Duma deputy, says that violence of the kind that occurred in a Kazan school is the inevitable result of the aggressive rhetoric the Kremlin increasingly engages in (dailystorm.ru/news/ritorika-povsyudu-vragi-provociruet-neterpimost-pushkina-prizvala-provozglasit-borbu-s-nasiliem). Others note that the Putin regime guards government buildings far more than it guards schools (business-gazeta.ru/article/509349
5. Sixty Percent of Russia’s Communal Infrastructure Needs Replacing. According to Senator Andrey Shevchenko, 60 percent of pipelines and powerlines connected to housing in the Russian Federation are worn out and need to be replaced (sovross.ru/articles/2122/52091). Also running out are Russia’s natural resources. The Accounting Chamber says that Russia today is drawing down its reserves at twice the rate it was earlier (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/85590).
DNA Tests Urged for Those Claiming to Be Stalin’s Descendants. Several people have recently claimed to be descendants of Stalin. Komsomolskaya Pravda suggests that they be given DNA tests to determine whether they are telling the truth (kp.ru/daily/27278.5/4413347/
Moscow TV Commentators Urge Protecting Russia by Rebuilding Iron Curtain. Moscow commentators appear to be outdoing themselves: Some of them now say that Moscow must rebuild the iron curtain in order to protect Russia from “fascist” Europe (newizv.ru/news/society/16-05-2021/televizor-predlagaet-vosstanovit-berlinskuyu-stenu-cherez-vsyu-evropuhttps://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/05/13/poroki-v-svoem-otechestve
Health Ministry Says More than Five Million Russians Suffer from Mental Problems. The Russian health ministry says that five to six million Russians suffer from mental problems serious enough to require treatment (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/minzdrav-5-6-mln-rossiyan-stradaet-psikhicheskimi-rasstroystvami/
Suzanne Massey Seeks Russian Citizenship. The US Russian specialist who advised Ronald Reagan has written Vladimir Putin requesting that she be allowed to take Russian citizenship. State media are having a field day with this suggesting this highlights just how bad things are in the US and how right the course Vladimir Putin has put Russia on (mk.ru/politics/2021/05/16/v-kremle-otreagirovali-na-prosbu-ekssovetnika-reygana-o-grazhdanstve.htmlBut at almost the same time, a study found that Russia is among the five first countries in the world for expats (snob.ru/news/rossiya-okazalas-v-pyaterke-hudshih-stran-dlya-ekspatov/
10. lenta.ru/news/2021/05/16/staroobr/Another report suggests Moscow may now view the Chechens in much the same way the tsars viewed the Cossacks, as a group available to suppress opposition (zen.yandex.ru/media/varandej/chechency-eto-novye-kazaki-popytka-razgadat-hitryi-plan-6098f41e7ffcba2d9e7ca0b9).
Prepared. Academician Aleksandr Sergeyev says that the quality of preparation of students in Russian higher educational institutions has declined (regnum.ru/news/society/3270394.htmlPerhaps that explains another report: a new poll finds that ever more graduates want to become government bureaucrats (svpressa.ru/society/article/298767/
kasparov.ru/material.php?id=609E2B593051A nakanune.ru/articles/116956/forumfreerussia.org/news/2021-05-18/bloomberg-realnye-dohody-rossiyan-upali-do-urovnya-12-letnej-davnostikrizis-kopilka.ru/archives/85499 and krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/85497