Staunton, Oct. 1 – Below are 39 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. Activist who Tricked Officials into Acknowledging They Falsified Voting Leaves Russia. Aleksey Shvarts, an activist in Kurgan, tricked several local officials into admitting they had the vote on the constitutional amendments by posing as a representative of the region has now fled Russia after these same officials denied what they had done and opened a criminal case against him (zona.media/article/2021/09/28/kurgan).
2. Male State Group Forces Another Restaurant Chain to Apologize for Using Blacks in Its Advertising. The traditionalist, racist and homophobic Male State group has forced another restaurant chain to apologize for using black actors in its advertising. The group said that such use represented an insult to the Russian people (nazaccent.ru/content/36803-muzhskoe-gosudarstvo-snova-zastavilo-set-restoranov-izvinitsya-za-reklamu-s-temnokozhim-muzhchinoj.html).
3. Kadyrov Says Chechnya Will Always be Part of Russia. Ramzan Kadyrov whose relationship with Russia seems more personal than structural says that even if Vladimir Putin leaves office, Chechnya will remain part of Russia (znak.com/2021-10-01/kadyrov_zayavil_chto_chechnya_ostanetsya_v_sostave_rf_esli_putin_uydet_s_posta).
4. Russians Display Little Interest in Romanov Wedding in St. Petersburg. The wedding of the leader of the next generation of Romanov pretenders in St. Petersburg was hyped by the state media but attracted little attention from the Russian people, commentator Aleksey Makarkin says (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6157E340909F8).
5. Kagarlitsky Detained for Ten Days for Participation in Protest Against Voting Fraud. Moscow commentator and writer Boris Kagarlitsky has been detained for ten days for his part in a protest against falsification of election results (https://www.znak.com/2021-09-30/politologa_i_prepodavatelya_shaninki_borisa_kagarlickogo_arestovali_na_10_sutok).
6. Nigmatullin Says Last Decade has Been a Disaster for Russia. According to Bulat Nigmatullin, a leader of the Party of Business, says that the last decade has been a disaster for the Russian economy. There has been no growth, imports have risen, and the incomes of ordinary Russians have fallen (nakanune.ru/articles/117671/).
7. As If It Weren’t Easy for Putin to Fire Governors, Duma Wants to Make It Easier. A United Russian deputy has introduced legislation that will add to the list of offenses for which the Russian president may fire the head of a federal subject (znak.com/2021-09-27/v_gosdumu_vnesli_zakon_rasshiryayuchiy_spisok_osnovaniy_dlya_uvolneniya_gubernatorov ).
8. Tatarstan has Lost Control of Its Oil Business to Russian Oligarchs. Tatarstan is not only at risk of losing the republic presidency it has long taken pride in, but it has already lost control of its oil industry, something that gave the republic a standing in Moscow that it will no longer have now that Russian oligarchs have assumed control of this branch (business-gazeta.ru/article/524317).
Plans for Statue Honoring Nicholas II Part of Effort to Promote Monarchism, Opponents Say. Plans to erect a statue honoring Nicholas II’s visit to Khabarovsk while he was tsarevich are not simply about honoring him but rather about promoting the restoration of monarchism in Russia, opponents of the idea say (nakanune.ru/articles/117677/
10. Russian Government to Spend Record Amount on State Media in 2022… The Russian government is budgeting a record 89.6 billion rubles (1.4 billion US dollars) to subsidize state media (rusmonitor.com/rekordnye-896-milliardov-rublej-poluchat-kremlevskie-smi-iz-byudzheta-v-2022-godu.html).
… But It Cuts Spending on Healthcare by More than a Billion Dollars. The 2022 budget calls for spending more than 100 billion rubles (1.4 billion US dollars) less on healthcare than Moscow spent this year, despite projections that the pandemic will still be around and that Russian healthcare needs more money (newizv.ru/news/society/01-10-2021/pravitelstvo-sokratilo-rashody-na-zdravoohranenie-i-sotspodderzhku
16. Parents Group Pushes Consumer Agency to Declare Feminists, LGBTs, and Related Groups Extremist. The parental advisory group to the Russian consumer affairs agency is calling for a large number of groups from feminists to LGBTs extremist because it says that these threaten Russia’s children (dailystorm.ru/obschestvo/soobshchestvo-pedofilov-v-sovete-pri-rkn-obyasnili-pochemu-radfeminizm-furri-i-chayldfri-nuzhno-priznat-ekstremizmom).
Russian Patriarch Accuses Ecumenical Counterpart of Dividing Orthodoxy. Patriarch Kirill has taken another step in his campaign against Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew of Constantinople, accusing him of dividing Orthodoxy and setting the stage for a pan-Orthodox council to examine these charges (rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=89872
18. Russian Residents Banned from Russia Often Only Find Out When They Arrive at Sheremetyevo. Valentina Chupik, a longtime defender of immigrant rights in Russia, discovered that she was banned from entering the country only when she returned from a foreign trip. She joins a large number of Russian residents who discover they have been excluded only in this way (ehorussia.com/new/node/24412).
A Greater Percentage of Russians Use Social Media than Watch TV. A new poll finds that 90 percent of Russians say they use social media, one percentage point higher than the share saying they watch television (https://capost.media/news/obshchestvo/opros-90-protsentov-rossiyan-ispolzuyut-sotsseti/
Putin’s Favorite Churchman Runs Roughshod over Pskov Residents. Metropolitan Tikhon, often identified as Putin’s favorite Orthodox leader, is engaged in a building progam in Pskov and going ahead despite popular opposition and a series of court cases brought against his projects (severreal.org/a/duhovnik-putina-hochet-stroit-v-ohrannoy-zone-kremlya/31477953.html
26. The Russian embassy in Madrid has protested to the Spanish government about a sign in front of a store in that country which mentioned Russian prostitutes (echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/2910742-echo/).
27. Russian workers are so used to going online and using social media that most companies have admitted defeat and stopped trying to regular their behavior on the web. As a result, the Russian government cannot count on business to do its dirty work in this sector (superjob.ru/research/articles/113082/kompanii-perestali-borotsya-s-aktivnostyu-sotrudnikov-v-socsetyah/).
28. The ministry for education and science wants to require employees of scholarly organizations and higher educational institutions to declare when they travel abroad and with whom they have been in contact (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6153475D23F9D).
29. Orthodox Church Critic Complains Hierarchy Spends Enormous Sums on Gilding Buildings but Doesn’t Offer Handicapped-Accessible Restrooms. An Orthodox activist who works with the handicapped says that the ROC MP spends enormous sums on gold to decorate its churches but does not offer restrooms accessible to those with physical limitations (ahilla.ru/tserkvi-v-zolote-a-tualetov-dlya-invalidov-pri-hramah-net/).
30. ‘Klishas is the Kremlin’s Pseudonym.’ At the present time, the most obvious and repressive bills proposed in the Federal Assembly are typically linked to Senator Andrey Klishas, an individual who so often speaks for the Kremlin that some observers refer to him as “a pseudonym of the Kremlin itself” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6151D7582A108).
31. Why Does Russia Maintain Military Garrisons in Major Cities? Most countries have done away with the practice of maintaining military garrisons in their major cities, but Russia is an exception in this as in so much else. With rare exceptions, all large cities in the country have garrisons whose troops could be used against the population if the need were to arise (forum-msk.org/material/news/17434457.html).
32. Russia Ranks 50th out of 63 Countries in Internet Freedom. According to Freedom House, Russia now ranks 50th among the 63 countries it surveyed in terms of internet freedom, below many post-Soviet and sub-Saharan African states (forum-msk.org/material/news/17435112.html).
33. Moscow City Authorities Ask Religious Groups to Report All Clergy Trained Abroad. The Moscow city government has sent a letter to all religious groups in the capital asking them to report the names of all of the members of their clergy who have received training abroad (credo.press/239090/).
34. Zhirinovsky Asks Putin to Restore Practice of Exiling People to Siberia. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the outspoken head of the LDPR party, has called on the Russian president to restore the practice of sending criminals into internal exile in Siberia (politobzor.net/240173-zhirinovskij-predlozhil-putinu-vernut-ssylki-v-sibir-i-privatizirovannye-kvartiry.html).
35. Crime among Migrants Up Six Percent. Russian officials say that the number of crimes committed by immigrants has risen six percent over the last year, a reflection less of any crime wave than of the increased number of migrants (nazaccent.ru/content/36777-chislo-sovershennyh-migrantami-prestuplenij-za-god-vyroslo-na-6.html).
36. Moscow Shows No Interest in Developing Planes for Local Air Service. The Russian government and Russian plane manufacturers current show no interest in building aircraft for short-run flights even though the Kremlin is pushing for domestic products to displace foreign ones. As a result, many local carriers are being forced to cut back (vpk-news.ru/articles/64023).
37. Development Programs in North Caucasus Fell Short Last Year, with Chechnya Doing the Most Poorly. According to Russian government statistics, the government’s development programs in the North Caucasus fell short by ten percent or more across the board with the greatest shortcomings in the most number of categories being in Chechnya (doshdu.com/gosprogramma-razvitija-skfo-priznana-neuspeshnoj/).
38. Absence of Indoor Toilets in Rural Russia Reflects Not Just Poverty but Cultural Choices, Observer Says. The absence of indoor plumbing and sewage lines in many parts of rural Russia reflects not just poverty but cultural attitudes which put a low value on such things, Sonya Margolina says (nzz.ch/feuilleton/russland-zwischen-idealismus-und-plumpsklo-ld.1646552)
More than Half of All Immigrant Workers are in Moscow City, Moscow Oblast and St. Petersburg. Russians in many places are exercised about the presence of immigrant workers, but their numbers are typically small except in three places: Moscow which has 27.4 percent of all such workers, St. Petersburg which has 13.7 percent, and Moscow Oblast which has 10.6 percent (https://iq.hse.ru/news/484654501.html ).