Staunton, Nov. 16 – The 2023 budgets of the ten poorest regions of Russia, nine of which are non-Russian areas, are even smaller than those this year; and as a result, experts say, these areas will become poorer still, falling further and further behind the rest of the country because Moscow shows no sign of intervening to help them.
Indeed, according to preliminary figures, the budgets of these regions are set to decline precisely because the central government is providing them with less money next year than it has in the past (newizv.ru/article/general/16-11-2022/bednyy-i-esche-bednee-regiony-s-nizkimi-byudzhetami-gotovyatsya-k-sokrascheniyu-dohodov).
The ten are the Jewish AO, the Nenets AO, Kalmykia, the Altai Republic, Ingushetia, Adygeya, North Ossetia, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Chukotka AO, and Magadan Oblast. Only Magadan is nominally a Russian oblast, although the Jewish AO has a Russian majority in its population.
Some observers are suggesting that the Kremlin will use this situation to justify combining one or more of these non-Russian areas with neighboring and predominantly Russian areas, Novyye izvestiya says. But regardless of whether that happens, the human suffering in these areas will only exacerbate nationalist and anti-Moscow attitudes there.