Staunton, May 29 – Russian transportation minister Vitaly Savelyev says that Western sanctions have literally “destroyed all logistics” in Russia (interfax.ru/russia/842137), a view many other Russian officials share and that facts of the most varied kind confirm, according to a new analysis (theins.ru/ekonomika/251179).
Putin’s hit the automobile industry quickly and especially hard, leading to significant declines in the number of cars produced let alone imported and a degradation in the quality of domestically produced cars which often have now been sold without key safety features such as airbags or filters to protect the environment (kommersant.ru/doc/5316400
“For the first time in many years,” Mikhail Blinkin, an HSE expert on transportation, says, the share of Russians will cards has fallen. A major reason for this is that Russians are upset that the features on the cars being offered are much more scarce but domestic producers have not reduced their prices.
The situation with regard to air travel is equally bleak. Aeroflot and other carriers have had to cut back flights because they don’t have enough planes ready to service, and both comfort and safety have declined because of problems with getting parts from abroad or through cannibalization.
Russian consumers are flying less as well because their incomes have declined, but perhaps most disturbingly, many airports in distant parts of the country are closing down with no indication of when or even if they will be reopened. Such closures are effectively cutting off many places from larger cities.
And yet another problem with long-term consequences is that Russian pilots left without work because of the domestic contraction are seeking jobs abroad. They aren’t finding such positions easy to locate because of “the toxicity” of Russians many places and a broader slowdown in the air travel industry.
But the situation in the railway industry is less dire. Most timetables are being kept up, but there has been a significant decline in the quality of service given that most of Russia’s most modern trains rely on components that no one in Russia is yet producing. That dependence on foreign producers has also limited the introduction of the high-speed trains