Saturday, December 17, 2022

Moscow’s Sale of Timber to China Leaving Many Siberians Freezing This Winter

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 15 – Russia’s media are full of stories about how Europe’s decision not to import Russian gas is going to leave many in the West without heat this winter, but those same outlets are ignoring the fact that many any of its citizens in Siberia are now freezing because Moscow has chosen to sell timber to China.

            In many places east of the Urals, the government has not managed to extend the gas distribution system to parts of major cities and to all the housing in many smaller centers. As a result, the only way people there can keep warm during the brutal winters is to burn wood (

            That has long been true, but now many Siberians can’t afford to purchase the wood they need because Russian firms with the backing of the Russian government have been selling wood to China, creating domestic shortages and driving up prices frequently beyond the level at which Siberians can afford to purchase them.

            Many Siberians are furious at both Moscow and China, but they haven’t taken to the streets to protest, not only because the weather is too cold to stage protests but also because they have learned that there is little they can do besides bundle up against the weather and wait for spring.

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