Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Real ‘Boom’ in Russia – the Rush to Purchase Bomb Shelters

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 27 – Many sectors of the Russian economy as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine and Western sanctions but one is experiencing booming growth – the rush to purchase private bomb shelters in places where no public ones are available or where those who can afford them hope to sit out a war without having to be among ordinary people.

            Unfortunately for most, not only are the costs of such shelters prohibitive but the shelters themselves are often in poor condition and need massive repairs. Nonetheless, many wealthier Russians think that buying such facilities is a good investment that will repay them “hundreds of times over.”

            That is just one of the anecdotes – and in this case one based entirely on the facts – that Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has assembled in her latest collection ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       Russians who do well at shooting galleries in fairs may get an unexpected “reward.” Instead of being given a stuffed animal, they may receive a summons to show up for military training so they can be sent to fight in Ukraine.

·       Having failed to reach Kyiv in three days and Lviv in a week, Moscow has changed course. Now it promises that it will “defend Kursk and Belgorod to the last inhabitant,” and officials in those places are building shelters and digging defensive trenches.

·       Russian wits have assembled what they say are Russia’s real traditional values: “without a piece of paper, you’re nothing,” “people must suffer,” “there is no way to live well,” “I’m the boss and you’re nobody,” “the tsar is good and the boyars are bad,” and “women are still giving birth to children.”

·       The Russian media are playing up the removal of monuments and books from Ukraine by Russian soldiers to distract attention from what Russian troops are taking more often – toilets and food. After all, Moscow wants the world to know that Russians are cultured people.

·       Margarita Simonyan, the ethnic Armenian who heads Russia Today, has been banned by Yerevan from entering Armenia because of her inhuman and militaristic statements. She is the first leading Armenia to receive such an honor.


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