Staunton, Dec. 3 – As Russia heads into winter and Moscow keeps talking about “’the freezing population of Ukraine,’” The Forbidden Opinion telegram channel reports, Russians east of the Urals are facing shortages in the amount of coal being delivered and price rises that are putting even that beyond their reach.
As a result, an increasing number of them are being forced to cut down trees in areas near their homes to try to keep their apartments warm (t.me/TheForbiddenOpinion/6013, reposted at rusmonitor.com/rossiyane-okazalis-na-grani-vyzhivaniya-vynuzhdeny-rubit-drevesinu-chtoby-hot-kak-to-obogret-sobstvennye-doma.html).
To date, the hardest hit regions, the telegram channel says, are Omsk Oblast and the Altay Kray; but it suggests that the problem is spreading given how little coal is now being delivered to Siberia and the Russian Far East and the consequent doubling and tripling of the costs of what coal is available.
Officials in these two regions are scrambling to try to save the situation but using money from their reserve funds; but the amount of money they will need to do so likely exceeds the amounts they have given the expenses they have incurred during the pandemic when Moscow handed them the latest of its unfunded mandates.
In addition to the obvious suffering people in these regions are going through because of this lack of heat, there is a great danger that the shift from coal to wood as fuel will likely spark more fires, always a problem in these regions during the winter, and lead to the loss of housing and not just of heat.