So how did we end up here? I specifically ended up here when I realized the pitiful nature of my situation. I have to help my grandmother, who will not be able to walk normally after a major surgery for the next few months. It has to be me, because there is no one else, and such an institution as social services in my city is not developed at all. This is not as big of a problem as the recent rise in the cost of drugs in all pharmacies due to increased tax pressure and the devaluation of the ruble. Today, at the time of buying the necessary medicines for my grandmother, I realized the very deplorable situation. But I have neither children nor other people dependent on me, so it is much easier for me to find a way out of this situation than for many others.
Why many? Because poverty reigns in Russia. According to the latest estimates, the number of Russians with an income below the subsistence level increased in the second quarter of 2020 by 1.3 million compared to the same period in 2019 and amounted to 19.9 million (13.5% of the country’s population). But let’s turn to the methodology for this calculation. The statistics do not seem so terrifying if you do not know that the amount of 12392 rubles is declared the cost of living. Which in dollar terms is about $165. (Don’t forget about rate fluctuations). Last year, Rosstat (the government’s statistics agency) presented the results of a survey of Russian wages, according to which 50% of citizens working in large and medium-sized enterprises receive a salary of less than 34,335 rubles (something about $450). This is the median salary. BUT that was before the coronavirus, lockdowns, bankruptcies and layoffs. There is simply no true data now. And the statistics I am talking about now are provided by a government agency that has been caught on fraud more than once. I can talk about my social circle – young people with higher education aged 23-28 years. Such people have a salary in the range from 20 to 30 thousand rubles a month (260-390 dollars), if they are lucky. But usually, it is 15-20 thousand rubles (190-260 dollars). Also, it is quite common to see a salary in the amount of that declared living cost of $165. If you are a lonely person, with no desire to leave the house, except to go to work, then it would be possible to live on this money, eating very low-quality food. Only if you have your own apartment, or live with your parents, or someone else pays for the rent of your apartment. Oh yes, at least a third of this amount you will have to pay for utility bills.
Pretty sad thoughts, right?
To hide from them on my return from the pharmacy, I decided to immerse myself in watching videos on YouTube. And in my recommendations I saw a video in which foreigners were asked about what they think about Russia, Putin and Russians in general. There was a lot: about vodka, and about tyranny, and quite real things, but among all this I heard words of approval of state policy, and about a strong leader and other things which are not true. I was shocked. Where have globalism, concern for the problems of other nations and dreams of a free world gone? Have we forgotten how our parents dreamed of a better future while listening to the song “Wind of Change”? Why do I live in a country that is a bad example of autocracy, but people still believe populism and propaganda? Why don’t I have enough money to pay for food and medicine for my grandmother, but someone thinks that I live in a great state with a “strong leader”?
How did we get here?
This is the reason why I decided to make this site. Enjoy!