Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Russians Suffering from Twice as Many Communal Services Breakdowns This Year than Last, Moscow Acknowledges

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 20 – Many are inclined to dismiss as an artefact of Russia’s northern location difficulties with communal services in the winter months. But that is a mistake: there have been twice as many problems with power, heat and light this year than last and they have occurred in half of Russia’s federal subjects, the emergency services ministry says.

According to the ministry, there have been 5030 such breakdowns over the last six weeks compared to 2630 during a comparable period in 2022-2022; and new ones are occurring across the country “every seven minutes” (agents.media/etoj-zimoj-bez-otopleniya-v-rossii-ostalos-dva-raza-bolshe-domov-v-chem-v-proshlom-godu/ and nemoskva.net/2024/01/20/v-yanvare-2024-goda-v-polovine-rossijskih-regionov-proizoshli-kommunalnye-chp/).

            Not only is the Russian government not maintaining these networks as required, but the Putin government plans to cut spending on them by half over the next two years in order to fund its war effort. Consequently, the current problem is the result of current policies; and the situation will only get worse unless the Kremlin changes its approach.

Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistical arm, admits that 30 percent of these services have networks that are being used long past the time that they should have been replaced and that in five federal subjects – North Ossetia, Lipetsk Oblast, Kabardino-Balkaria, Tomsk Oblast and Sverdlovsk Oblast, that figure is above 50 percent.

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