Staunton, VA, July 15, 2016 – The flood of news stories from a country as large, diverse and strange as the Russian Federation often appears to be is far too large for anyone to keep up with. But there needs to be a way to mark those which can’t be discussed in detail but which are too indicative of broader developments to ignore.
Consequently, Windows on Eurasia presents a selection of 13 of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 40th such compilation. It is only suggestive and far from complete – indeed, once again, one could have put out such a listing every day — but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest.
8. More Appalling Economic News. Officials in Kamchatka destroyed four tons of caviar, demonstrating in the words of one commentator that Russia is “a country of incurable idiots”. Researchers are now saying that among things holding back Russia from economic growth are the superstitions of its population (kommersant.ru/doc/3024808).
A black market has now emerged in St. Petersburg for those who want others stalked. And in what must be the most devasting economic news of all: Russian experts say the only federal subject not in depression is Crimea. But there is one small sector that is showing continued growth and vitality: the market for official stamps has not declined even though the economy has.