Russia goes into the Toilet
“It’s built on technologies dating back to the mid-1980s, at the very latest. We are lagging seven to 30 years back in various space technologies.”
— Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka, talking to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta
That was the response of “Cosmonaut” Padalka describing the Russian-made alternative after being informed that he wouldn’t be able to use the flashy American toilet on the international space station, but would be relegated instead to the Russian one, and wouldn’t be able to use any exercise machine at all since, while the Americans have a cool one, the Russian section doesn’t have any at all.
At least Padalka has a toilet of some kind. Huge swaths of Russia’s population, to this day, rely on the outhouse. They have their hot water cut off by the state in the summer, and sometimes go without running water of any kind. These are just two of the many reasons that Russia doesn’t rank in the top 100 countries of the world for male adult lifespan, and why it loses up to 1 million people from its population every year.
One may well ask, then, where all the billions of oil revenue windfalls that Russia received over the past several years have gone. There is only one answer, of course: The Kremlin has flushed them down the toilet of a paranoid, aggressive, neo-Soviet new cold war with the United States.