Sunday, January 8, 2023

More than One Russian in a Hundred Still Lives in a Communal Apartment and Many More Don’t have Indoor Toilets

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 7 – In the waning days of 2022, the Russian state statistical agency released the last four volumes of data from the latest census. Information about the way in which Russians live is included, and Rosstat may have decided that the horrific picture it paints of Russia today would escape widespread attention.

            The figures from the census are truly disturbing, Novyye izvestiya journalist Sergey Lvov says. In many ways, the most striking of all is that while there are 64 million households in Russia, only 51 million of them were ready to discuss what are known as “improvements” in them (

            That 13 million chose not to may reflect either their desire not to let outsiders know about how they live or their shame in existing in conditions many had assumed no longer existed in the 21st century, Lvov suggests. But even those who did answer questions about such improvements show that the situation is not good.

              More than 12.5 million didn’t mention they have electricity either because they haven’t noticed this, don’t think of it as an improvement, or perhaps because they don’t actually have it. In fact, the census reported, more than 600,000 Russian households were explicit in stating that they are not linked to the electric grid of the country.

             Judging from the census data, 12.5 million Russian households don’t have cold water running through pipes, and 24.4 million don’t have hot water supplied that way. But perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that 2.675 million households are not connected to sewage lines and don’t have their own indoor toilets.

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