Staunton, Nov. 16 – In response to the dying out of Russian villages, Moscow has taken three steps: It has worked to conceal what is happening by closing local and regional media (https://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/12/russian-north-is-dying-but-putins-media.html). It has announced plans to save the villages (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/03/moscows-much-ballyhooed-programs-to.html). And, most disturbingly, it has taken increasingly radical measures to kill off the smallest villages and consolidate their residents into larger ones (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/07/russian-villages-arent-dying-natural.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/01/putins-optimization-completing.html).
Such consolidated villages are easier and less expensive to provide services like post offices, medical points and stores than the smaller ones. But many of the residents in the dying villages don’t want to leave what have long been their homes, and they are resisting official pressure to move.
In response, the Russian authorities at least in some places are taking more draconian steps to force them to agree to consolidation: they are closing remaining services, and they are even destroying houses, sometimes burning them when people are still inside, so that villagers will have no place to stay or will be unable to return.
How widespread this phenomenon is remains unknown given Moscow’s unwillingness to report on it, but there can be little doubt that what Novaya vkladka journalist Oleg Koltsov describes as being the case of the village of Ust-Kos in the Komi-Permyak District of Perm Kray is happening elsewhere as well (thenewtab.io/neperspektivnye/