Sunday, January 2, 2022

Russia has Vastly More Homeless than Moscow Admits and Kremlin Isn’t Addressing the Problem

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 11 – Moscow says that there are only a few more than 60,000 homeless in the Russian Federation, but experts say the number is much larger, at least 1.5 million and perhaps as much as eight million. If the latter figure is correct, more than one in 20 Russians now is without housing (

            Russian officials are lowballing the numbers so that they can avoid taking responsibility which is already harming the country’s population because the absence of a program to address the issue means that businesses can exploit the homeless, often reducing them to the position of virtual slavery (

            Moscow is also avoiding taking any action because of public opposition to the opening of any refuges for the homeless at least in major cities, and so at present there seem few prospects that the country will address a problem that most people prefer to ignore (

            But Yaroslav Ignatorsky, the head of Moscow’s Politgen Analytic Center, says that the problem within Russia is now growing so fast and that the international attention this situation is attracting is increasing as well that Moscow may soon have no choice but to begin to address it (

            “The launch of government programs for liquidating the problems of the homeless, such as resetting them in empty houses or creating special workplaces for them is already both an economic issue and a matter of prestige, the analyst says. If Moscow does nothing, it will likely suffer a social explosion as well as a diminished reputation around the world. 

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