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Welcome to Vyazma


This is Vyazma, Russia, about halfway between Moscow and Smolensk.


This is Alexander Klimenkov. He’s the mayor of Vyazma.  He’s also an Orthodox Priest. Separation of church and state? Not so much in Putin’s Russia.

Mayor Klimenkov is proud to say that the average monthly wage in his city is 11,691 rubles. That’s $363.29. For four forty-hour weeks of work, that works out to $2.27 per hour of work. And mind you, that’s the average wage. Average means that lots of people in Vyazma earn less than $2.27 per hour.

Mayor Klimenkov brags that the average wage in Vyazma is “constantly growing compared to previous years.”  In other words, it used to be even lower than $2.27 per hour.  Like, say, in Vladimir Putin’s second term.

Reflecting on life in Vyazma, which means “Sticky” because it was founded in a swamp, it seems the city should probably be renamed.

We think “Miasma” would be a perfect choice.

10 responses to “Welcome to Vyazma

  1. Beetlejuice ⋅

    ” Separation of church and state? Not so much in Putin’s Russia.”

    And this is news because…..? Russia is no different from Poland, Ukraine, Ireland, or even the USA (as far as the Republicans go). This is common knowledge. Russia has most American conservatives’ admiration and envy.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      You can’t even identify a state-preferred church, much less can you point to an American city run by a priest from it.

  2. Minsky ⋅

    LR, to be fair, under the US Constitution’s establishment clause, it would not be possible to prevent a priest from running for elected office. At the same time, the priest would not be allowed to use the political office to promote his religion.
    But I think the priest side of the story is less relevant than the depressing economic circumstances. Miasma, yes.

    • larussophobe ⋅

      To be fair, we’re not talking about what is legal. Not sure the US Constitution controls who can be mayor of a city, but maybe out in America somewhere a priest or rabbi is mayor of a city. If they are (1) it is a big controversy and (2) whatever church they belong to doesn’t have a quarter the significance in the USA that the Russian Orthodox Church does in Russia and (3) Barack Obama doesn’t begin to play the role in selecting American “elected” officials that the Putin regime does, much less Kirill, who has no counterpart in American society.

  3. Beetlejuice ⋅

    Kim, what I mentioned were countries where church and state are NOT separate: Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Ireland. Go any place to where the Republican Party holds office: Idaho, the deep South, etc. The church controls all the politicians.

  4. Hi there ⋅

    is the average wage low in relation to the cost of living in this town?

    • Even though the cost of living in this town is relatively low, the standards of living are unacceptable. Basically, the title of this post should be “Dying Vyazma” since so many people move to Moscow in search of a better life.

      Russian Orthodox church is omnipresent. Christian propaganda starts in grade one in state schools. They even opened theological faculties in some universities.

  5. Pingback: The Real Russia, in Dollars and Sense | Dying Russia

  6. Vyazma ⋅

    Hi to whomever reads this. This site and the comments above are somewhat offensive. If you are not Russian nor live or from Vyazma then clearly you have no right to judge them. I am from vyazma was born there and lived there moved to UK for 3 years for university and I am moving back to vyazma this summer because I love my country and my town. Russia may not be perfect but nor are other nations that claim they are! Crime rate in Russia is lower than most populated and wealthier countries. And money doesn’t make you happier. I was born into poverty and won’t change that for any money. So before anyone on this site argues about something they clearly don’t know, think before you speak. Thank you!

    PS: if this site is shut down don’t blame me 🙂

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