Saturday, May 4, 2024

‘Two Worlds’ – Cities in Russia and Kazakhstan Face Common Flooding but Respond in Completely Different Ways

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 30 – Flooding has hit with equal force cities on both sides of the Russian-Kazakhstan border, but the responses of the populations to the disaster in Russia’s Kurgan and Kazakhstan’s Petropavlovsk have been entirely different, with the former waiting to be told what to do by officials and the latter acting on its own to combat the disaster.

            Nikita Telizhenko, a Novaya Gazeta journalist who visited both cities, says this division reflects the very different social systems in the two countries, noting that it follows that division rather than any ethnic one given that ethnic Russians in Petropavlovsk behave like Kazakhs there (стихия-одна,-а-люди-—-разные).

            He provides details on these differences and concludes that they are among the best evidence that there are now “two worlds” divided by the political border, worlds that respond differently even to tragedies that touch both countries. And even more important, the response in Kazakhstan is proving far more effective than that in the Russian Federation.

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