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.