THERE IS CERTAINLY A PROBLEM IN RUSSIA.

“Free Navalny” protest in Russia.

On August 20, 2020, Russian oppositionist Aleksey Navalny was poisoned with Novichok and hospitalized in a serious condition. “I never felt this way, cold sweat went through my back and I started losing the reality.” said Navalny. He felt worse and worse, ending up sitting in the plane toilet realizing that “nothing hurts, but life is leaving”. He ended up in the Tomsk hospital, where he was transported to Germany for future hospitalization. 

Coming back to Russia after five month in Germany was a big surprise for Navalny’s supporters. Many people came to the airport to welcome the recovered political oppositionist back to Russia. But as he arrived to the Vnukovo Airport he was arrested and brought to the nearest police station where the tribunal sentenced three years of prison for him.

Fear of government, sexism and inability to have personal opinion reigns in Russia in the 21th century. Something more than Navalny’s arrest made people protest. The way Vladimir Putin spits on Russian citizens turned the biggest country in the world, the country that has been known as the greatest empire into a place where one person has power over everyone and everything. 

Protests in Russia. “Russia is going to b free” is the tagline of the poster.

ECONOMIC TURMOIL

Economical instability and awful roads lie on the surface of the big trouble that Russia is in. Putin is the cause. He wastes the country budget, decreases pensions, disrespects veterans, and destroys small businesses all over the country. His 21 year reign made him the richest person in Russia, but now average salaries for citizens are less than in some of Africa’s poorest countries. Everyone is silent and someone has to speak up and open the eyes of people who still think that Vladimir Putin is a great ruler. 

On January 23rd, 2021, a massive protest took place on Russian streets. It led to a violent attitude of the police towards the citizens. Over 3000 people have been arrested in one day. Government’s reaction was surprisingly strange. “People who went outside are ill and drug addicts.” said Vladimir Zhirinovsky in one of the governmental meetings.

 Many politicians spoke about the protests, and every speech was ending up with Navalny being the cause of all the trouble. Some YouTubers asked protesters if they were inspired to go out by Navalny’s arrest. The results were surprising, because many people did not even know who Aleksey Navalny is. So, the politicians’ opinion on the protests is clearly propaganda, that is trying to hide the main point of the protests. 

The terrible state of Russian roads is a worldwide meme. It sounds funny but many people die because of the poor road quality. Government invests a lot of money into fixing the roads, but only major Russian cities have quality roads. There are many videos where workers are being negligent with placing asphalt, and the amount of those videos makes people think that they do it purposefully. 

That is understandable. It is funny to see the amount of money they get for the hard work that they have to do every day. In Germany Asphalt Paving machine Operator’s average salary is 14 400 euro monthly, whereas in Russia they get 350 euro monthly. A truly noticeable difference in salaries makes a huge difference in the effort that workers put into the work. Some might say “The prices in Russia are lower”, which is true but they are not 40 times lower unlike the salaries. 

Winter asphalt placement in Russia.

SOCIAL DISCONTENT

Why are the salaries so low? Many Russian people take it for granted, but this question worries students who do not want to be teachers or doctors because it is impossible to survive with such a small salary. A Few people have ventured to ask this question on the “Online question answering by Putin.”, but a clear stated answer has not been heard. I think that the answer is simple, the country’s budget is not used for the citizens. Officially Vladimir Putin earns 8.8 millions of rubles monthly. So how did he manage to build a castle that according to Navalny’s video is worth 80 billion rubles. Nice question, right?!

The way the government spends money on the country became a general topic of discussion in Russia. Seeing such a difference in terms of living conditions between Moscow/Saint Petersburg and the rest of the country, makes the amount of questions to the government increase. 

The investments are only addressed to the richest parts of Russia. Walking through Saint Petersburg the tourist might only notice a few places where the roads are a bit damaged. But let’s leave and go to Velikiy Novgorod. Sometimes the quality of the roads is so bad that people on small cars are not even going to risk going through there. 

Population in small cities in Russia is slowly decreasing. It is caused by the salaries difference which is noticeable in any working place. The most popular place of working without the requirement of higher education is McDonald’s. Population of Veliliky Novgorod is 220 000 people and the average salary of McDonald’s cashiers  is 17 285 rubles, whereas in Moscow the same cashiers get 33 559 rubles according to Indeed.com. A noticeable difference makes more and more people leave homes and move to Moscow. 

ELDERLY DISRESPECT

Veterans are the Russian pride. They went through World War II and saved the country from German troops. The Country has to be honorable to them and provide the best living conditions for the heroes. However, the reality is horrible, people are surviving with the lowest possible pension. Russian government only provides flats for few veterans and the quality of the flats is horrible. It is truly sad to see old people sitting outside and asking for money on the streets. 

The man on this video is veteran and group A disabled (the hardest group). He is a bum. According to his words, during the meeting of the president with veterans, Putin promised this man a flat and money support. Obviously, there was no support given. Such a horrible attitude towards a person who provided life for you is simply disrespectful. 

One of the Russian veterans.

At old age people are beginning to need a mandatory medical contribution. As an example, I am going to talk about my grandparents. My grandfather spent 40 years working as a driver, and went to Chernobyl as a helper for people there. My grandmother spent her whole life working as an engineer. Now they are dependent on a pension, and together they get 25 000 rubles. So they worked their whole life for ending up getting critically small amounts of money for living. 

My grandparents went through Coronavirus. Going to the private hospital was worth their monthly earnings and without children support a simple rehabilitation would not be affordable for them. This sounds scary. A simple lack of many led to 1000’s of deaths during the Covid19 pandemic. 

I wanted to end up with saying how horrible Putin’s ruling is, but unfortunately his actions speak for himself. The only way for Russia to become a stable country is to overthrow the government. This change has to stop the decrease of the Russian population, start a new generation with equality and respect towards the elderly. And finally fix the poor, poor roads.

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