Shocking Backwardness in Putin’s Russia

Vedomosti reported on February 14, 2013, as follows (original DR translation, corrections welcome):

Russians live in a constant shortage of municipal infrastructure.  For example:

  • Central heating  is lacking in 8% of homes.
  • About 11% of homes in cities nationwide do not have a water supply
  • There are no sanitation services in 12% of residences.
  • There is no hot water in almost 20% of homes.
  • Over 30% of urban housing has yet to be gasified.

For 10 years these figures have remained unimproved.  The general deterioration of the utilities sector infrastructure has reached 70%.

These were the conclusions of the Russian Union of Engineers (RCI), analyzing the state of housing in 164 cities across the country. It is easiest to cope with these troubles residents suburbs. Eight of the top ten cities for infrastructure, nine were Moscow’s satellite cities.

The eight cities were Lyubertsy, Pushkin, Krasnogorsk, Podolsk, Odintsov, Balashikha, Shchelkovo and Zhukovsky. Lyubertsy took first place in rankings; it has 14 kilometers of heating network and 16 kilometers of water and sewer network for every square kilometer of urban territory.  This is the highest result in the country. In total length of gas pipelines (12 km/sq. km) the national leader is Barnaul , where 1 square kilometer of the city has 53 km of gas networking. In second place in that category comes Pushkino, where one square kilometer of territory contains over 23 kilometers of such networks. Neither Moscow nor St. Petersburg made the top ten. Other cities showing good performance were Kaluga, Morom, Stary Oskol and Novoy Urengoy.

The worst cities in nation were Samara, Essentuki, Tyumen, Novokuznetsk  and Chita.  In some cities, the situation is close to critical, according to RCI. For example, in Leninsk-Kuznetsk and Essentuki  the deterioration of water and sewerage network is close to 90%.

According to Rosstat, on January 1, 2012 (data through January 1, 2013 has not yet been published):

  • 22.2 million Russians have inadequate heating
  • 29.2 million Russians have inadequate water supply
  • 34.9 million Russians have inadequate sanitation
  • 47.1 million Russians have inadequate hot water supply

Rosstat found that 28.3% of Russians must use supplemental heat sources to warm their homes, and 13.3% rely on their stoves alone.  27.5% of households have inadequate electricity supply, with 8% seeing power failures more than once per week.

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Rob Minto of the Financial Times is a Braying Jackass

Rob Minto, the braying jackass

It’s shocking to see such childish and idiotic financial “analysis” being produced by as lofty a source of financial information as the Financial Times of London.

Writing on the FT’s “Beyond BRICS” blog, Rob Minto claims “Russia is not as unequal as you think” based on a report he read (but does not even take the time to link to, really shabby stuff) from Russian stock brokerage house Renaissance Capital.

RC used Gini coefficient analysis to produce a chart that, apparently, Minto did not even take the time to read.  The chart plots the positions of 22 different countries based on per capita income and Gini rating for economic inequality.

Apparently they haven’t learned to count yet over at the FT, because only five countries out of the total group show more economic inequality than Russia (South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina).  That’s right, sixteen of the 22 countries showed less economic in equality. Russia stood in the bottom quartile of the group, yet Minto, a braying jackass if ever there was one, thinks this proves Russia isn’t that unequal after all.

And that’s only the first gaping flaw in Minto’s analysis.

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