Staunton, July 9 – 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:
1. Russian Oil Companies Say They are Environmentally Friendly and Won’t Reduce Drilling in Arctic. All evidence to the contrary, Russian majors say they will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic because they are now environmentally sensitive and wont’ harm the environment there (thebarentsobserver.com/ru/promyshlennost-i-energiya/2021/07/bolshoe-arkticheskoe-zelenoe-naduvatelstvo).
2. Russians Keeping Cars Longer When They Can Afford Them at All. Only one car in eight in Russia today is less than seven years old, and in some regions, that figure is even worse. At the same time, surveys show that the share of Russians who can afford to own a car at all is falling dramatically (znak.com/2021-07-07/krizis_i_sankcii_v_rossii_stremitelno_stareet_avtomobilnyy_park, https://ura.news/articles/1036282620news.vtomske.ru/news/185687-issledovanie-srednii-vozrast-avtomobilei-v-tomskoi-oblasti-bolshe-15-let).
3. ‘Tintin Chez Les Russes’ Appears. In a publishing development that will do little to improve relations between Moscow and Paris, the Tintin comic book series now features a book on Tintin’s visit to Russia, a visit which highlights just how bad conditions in that country now are (twitter.com/tintinades/status/1403388015628767236).
4. Kuzbass Environmentalist Emigrates, Launches Website. A woman from the Kuzbass region has been forced to emigrate because of her environmental activism, but she is continuing it by maintaining a website highlighting problems in Russia, another example of the importance of emigration from outside of Moscow (7x7-journal.ru/news/2021/07/10/uehavshaya-iz-rossii-kuzbasskaya-aktivistka-sozdala-ekologicheskij-internet-forum-i-anonsirovala-sajt-pro-ekonarushitelej).
5. Russians Must Adapt to Climate ‘Apocalypse.’ Global warming means not only that there will be much higher temperatures and fires in some places but much lower temperatures and flooding in others, a climate “apocalypse” that Moscow so far has not figured out how to handle given its one-size-fits-all approach (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2021/07/10/1910766.html).
Fewer Russians Applying for Jobs and Won’t Unless Wages and Salaries Go Up. The country’s demographic situation means that ever fewer Russians are applying for jobs and that experts say the situation won’t change until wages and salaries are increased. Using migrant workers is no solution, they add (kp.ru/daily/28302.5/4442357/ and nakanune.ru/articles/117207/
Russian Motifs Said Making Major Inroads in US Tattoo Market. Americans interested in tattoos are increasing choosing Russian motifs like the matryoshka doll, according to a Moscow survey (lenta.ru/articles/2021/07/10/matreshka/
8. Only Lawyers Available to Many in Regions are Retired Prosecutors. Russians in the regions often can’t find a lawyer who hasn’t retired from the prosecutors’ offices and thus who isn’t inclined to defend them very hard against charges. This is because younger lawyers are fleeting to the cities for higher incomes (ng.ru/politics/2021-07-11/5_8195_lawyers.html).
9. FSB Rounding Up More Neo-Nazis. The FSB reported arresting neo-Nazis in three regions in recent days, an indication of both the rise in the number of such people and an increase in official concern about that (nazaccent.ru/content/36087-v-tryoh-gorodah-rossii-arestovany-neonacisty.html).
10. Cossacks Now a Highly Visible Presence in Russian North. Although there is no tradition of Cossackry in the Russian North, officials in some cities there are importing Cossacks from elsewhere to beef up their security and police services (thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2021/07/whip-defies-baton).
11. Moscow Media Ignoring Wildfires in Siberia and Far East. Many people east of the Urals are complaining that the central government has ignored the dramatic rise in wildfires in their region, fearful that the absence of attention will mean a lack of action against this danger (ehorussia.com/new/node/23808).
12. New Data on Haj from Russia Before 1917 Published. More information is now being published about those Muslims from the Russian Empire who made the haj before the 1917 revolution (ng.ru/ng_religii/2021-07-06/12_510_book.html and kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/1927/posts/49810mbk-news.appspot.com/korotko/chtetsy-korana/).
13. Health Ministry Plans to Create Genetic Profiles of All Russians. In a move certain to alarm many Russians, the Russian health ministry says it plans to create a genetic profile and passport for all Russians (mbk-news.appspot.com/korotko/usilennaya-profilaktika-minzdrav/).
14. More than Half of All Russians Want to Restore Death Penalty and Many want It Applied to More Crimes. A new Levada Center poll finds that a majority of Russians currently favors the restoration of the death penalty and large shares think that this punishment should be applied to more crimes (levada.ru/2021/07/05/kazhetsya-rasstrelyat-prestupnika-i-vse-togda-budet-horosho-no-horosho-ne-budet/).
15. Russian Analyst Pushes for Term Limits on Duma Members. Anton Orlov of the Moscow Institute for Research on the Problems of Contemporary Politics, says that in a well-functioning democracy, term limits aren’t necessary but in Russia, they should be put in place and no deputy should be allowed to serve more than two terms in a row (ng.ru/editorial/2021-07-08/2_8194_editorial.html).
Ever More Russians Opposed to Moscow’s Counter-Sanctions Regime. The share of Russians who say that the counter-sanctions regime the Kremlin has imposed is a bad idea now stands at 36 percent, up from just nine percent when they were first imposed (mk.ru/economics/2021/07/07/proval-politiki-importozameshheniya-vse-bolshe-rossiyan-schitayut-kontrsankcii-zlom.html
18. newizv.ru/news/society/08-07-2021/fsin-razreshila-transgenderu-otbyvat-nakazanie-v-sizo-vmesto-kolonii). But hostility toward LGBT people remains high, with one Moscow commentator blaming this on the acctions of members of that community (vz.ru/opinions/2021/7/8/1107477.html).
Moscow City Spends Millions Tracking Criticism of Itself in Media and Online. The city government in the Russian capital currently is spending 540 million rubles (seven million US dollars) each year to track criticism of itself in the media and online by region of the city (mbk-news.appspot.com/news/moskva-potratit-2/
21. Some Schools in Eight Regions Don’t Have Water, Heat or Bathrooms. The Russian consumer affairs agency says schools in eight regions, most of them non-Russian, don’t yet have running water, reliable heat or indoor bathrooms. It also says that despite problems to overcome the problem of multiple shifts, 108 schools, again all in non-Russian areas, operate on a three-shift basis (doshdu.com/dagestan-i-chechnja-pokazali-hudshie-rezultaty-po-sostojaniju-shkol/).
22. Four Russians in Ten Think Online Bullying has Increased over Last Five Years. A VTsIOM poll finds htat 42 percent of Russian internet users say that over the last five years, incidents of insulting behavior and bullying have increased on Russian social media (wciom.ru/analytical-reviews/analiticheskii-obzor/kiberbulling-masshtab-problemy-v-rossii).
23. Shift to Distance Work has Hurt Women More than Men. Russian women compelled to work from home as freelancers have seen their incomes fall far more than have Russian men (iq.hse.ru/news/484169692.html).
26. Lavrov Says West has Launched Campaign Against Legitimacy of Duma Vote Even Before It Takes Place. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the West is seeking to undermine confidence in the Russian Duma elections even before they occur (kp.ru/daily/28301/4441443/).