Thursday, August 18, 2022

Russians Should Buy Furniture Made by Russian Inmates rather than by IKEA Workers, Official Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 5 – Now that Russians are coming to an understanding that Western sanctions are going to last for years and that efforts to substitute domestic production for foreign imports will be around for some time, ever more officials and entrepreneurs are coming up with ideas on just what these efforts might look like.

            Perhaps the most creative proposal comes from Sverdlovsk Oblast prison chief Aleksandr Fyodorov who says that Russian prisoners should produce furniture made out of wood from the country’s forests so that Russians can buy those instead of items from Sweden’s IKEA, whose stores in Russia have been closed.

            Such a project if realized would seem to kill two birds with one stone, providing the Russian market with furniture and keeping the increasing number of prisoners busy and their prisons and camps self-financing, something the Putin regime seems to be committed to arranging.

            That is just one of the import substitution ideas which have surfaced across Russia in recent weeks that have been assembled by the regional 7x7 news agency ( Among the best of the rest:

·       Ivan Tea, Komi Kola, and Baikal being pushed by various regions as substitutes for Coca-Cola and Pepsi

·       Ekobumaga, unbleached paper, promoted as a substitute for imported bleached paper

·       The AYYA T1 Russian cellphone in place of the iPhone. (To date, only 400 copies of the Russian phone have attracted buyers.)

·       Rossgram in place of Instagram, a project that so far has not gotten off the ground.

·       Russian words in place of Western borrowings, an idea being pushed by Russian officials in Russian-occupied Crimea.

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