The forgotten cities of Russia's north
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#1 Feb 25, 2008
Interesting perspective on rural Siberia, but not all of Russia outside Moscow/Petersburg is like this. Even in Siberia there are burgeoning urban centers that are going through development booms - like Barnaul and Novosibirsk - the latter of which even has an IKEA (!). Let's hope that Russia's oil boom eventually reaches the more isolated corners of the country.
Another point the article raises is the effect of the end of the USSR on Russians. The impact was worse than the Great Depression in the US. One naturally wants to blame Reagan, but it is also Gorbachev who started Russia on this road to ruin.
The article touches on alcoholism but doesn't expand on it. This is perhaps the most worrisome health problem in modern Russia - its effect on life expectancy is astounding
#2 Feb 26, 2008
Blaming Reagan would be silly, nobody forced Soviet Union to participate in an arms race, but communist leaders.
Blaming Gorbatshev is also useless - the current fate of Russia was largely destined to happen, that development was written into Russia's society in the 1970s and 1980s.
Read the end of the article, there are plenty of viable suggestions for why Siberia is suffering.
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