Staunton, Sept. 23 – Moscow and the rest of Russia are divided by many things with the ring road about the capital a more profound divide than between many countries. One measure of this, now likely to become increasingly important as Russians try to flee abroad from Putin’s dictatorship, is the possession of passports and multiple entry visas.
According to a new VTsIOM poll, ten percent of Muscovites have Shengen visas which in the past have allowed to go to EU countries more or less unimpeded. Almost no other Russian outside of the city has that opportunity. Indeed, more than 70 percent of all Russians do not even have a passport needed to travel abroad (forum-msk.org/material/news/18062866.html).
That divide, one perhaps even more profound in Russia today than the differences in wealth and power between those in the Russian capital and those in the oblasts, krays, and republics beyond the city’s borders are likely to contribute to a further growth of regionalism and separatism, as places Muscovites call “the provinces” see what those in the capital are doing.