Tag Archives: siberia

Russia’s Siberia becomes a Desert

The Dallas-Forth Worth Tribune reports:

Picture a town inaccessible by road, buried under ice and snow for eight months of the year, unable to support a movie theater and without enough cars to warrant a traffic light or even a stop sign.

Chersky is the definition of isolation — or, in Stalinist terms, exile. This forbidding area of northeastern Siberia, where winter temperatures commonly sink to about -50 Celsius, (about -60 F) was once part of the Gulag, the network of prisons for the Kremlin’s enemies.

The town has shed more than half its population of 12,000 in the hard times that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Many of those remaining say they also would leave if they could.

Continue reading

Advertisements

EDITORIAL: The Shameless Fraud called Putin

EDITORIAL

The Shameless Fraud called Putin

Mr Putin repeatedly praised the quality of the Lada car he was driving, giving valuable free publicity to the car’s struggling Russian manufacturer Avtovaz. However, he admitted he would not be personally driving the vehicle for the entire journey and would sometimes travel in his convoy of expensive foreign-made Jeeps.

Vladimir Putin was off on another one of his utterly absurd publicity stunts last week, this time driving a thousand miles across Russia in a Lada to prove how great the car is and encourage his fellow citizens to purchase one, while at the same time showing his own mettle as a he-man destined to rule Russia for life.

Except that Putin wasn’t driving a Russian Lada most of the time; most of the time, he was riding in an American-made Jeep.

Continue reading

Jesus of Siberia

What would Jesuski do?

What would Jesuski do?

We can only (excuse the pun) pray that reader “psalomschik’s” head does not explode when he sees this. The Daily Mail reports (click through for more photos of His Holiness):

The beard and long hair are both present and correct. And with his flowing linen robes and beatific smile he certainly does a fine impression of a holy man. But to his believers in this remote corner of Siberia, Sergei Torop, a former traffic policeman, is the literal reincarnation of none other than Jesus Christ

Continue reading

When will Siberia Secede from Russia?

Paul Goble reports:

Just as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident convinced many Ukrainians that they did not want to remain part of the Soviet Union, so too, despite all the differences in the extent of the disaster, the Sayan-Shushen dam accident is leading many Siberians to conclude the same thing about remaining part of the Russian Federation. In the current issue of  Novaya Gazeta, journalist Aleksey Tarasov says that in the wake of the August 17 dam disaster, “Siberia is changing” in large measure because “the cheap electric energy” which the dam provided in “compensation” to that region for all that Moscow has taken from it is now a thing of the past.

Continue reading

Putin Condemns Siberia to Exile

Paul Goble reports:

For the first time in more than a century, a Moscow-based politician and scholar from the Altai says, Russia’s central government has “cast aside” Siberia, a region that is not only rich in natural resources but whose unique spirit is critical for reform, thus putting the future of Russia as a whole at risk. In an interview in Baikalskiye Vesti yesterday, Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently a professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, says that “Siberia, which for the course of a century was celebrated not only for its natural but its human wealth has been converted into an ever poorer kray, forgotten by God and Moscow.”

Continue reading

A Tinderbox in Siberia

Paul Goble reports on a tinderbox in Siberia, just waiting for a spark:

Moscow’s push for the construction of a hydro-electric dam on the Lower Tunguska in Siberia is having an unexpected and very much unwanted consequence: the transformation of the land of the Evenk nationality into “a hot spot” far from any other, according to a leading Siberian analyst.  In an article posted online, Dmitry Verkhoturov says that “the struggle around the project of the Evenk Hydroelectric Station on the Lower Tunguska has entered a new stage,” one in which Moscow’s heavy-handedness is pushing the members of the numerically small but well-armed Evenk nation to consider violence.

Continue reading

Medvedev, off the Reservation, Admits Russia cannot hold Far East

Paul Goble reports:

President Dmitry Medvedev says that if the Russian government does not take immediate steps, Moscow could lose the Russian Far East, a declaration that one Russian news agency called “unprecedented” and at the very least suggests Russia faces far more serious problems there than the Kremlin has acknowledged up to now.

Speaking to a conference on social-economic development in Kamchatka kray, Medvedev said that “if we do not step up the level of activity of our work [in the Russian Far East], then in the final analysis we can lose everything,” with that region becoming a source of raw materials for Asian countries. The consequences of further inaction, the Russian president said, could come not only quite quickly but “end in an extremely dramatic way” much as the Soviet Union did 17 years ago. And consequently, he called on the Russian government to “take administrative decisions” and not to get tied up with “other problems.

Continue reading