Paul Goble: ‘We have No Gas, Water, Roads or Internet’ – A Siberian Village’s Cry of Despair to Putin

Staunton, February 12 – Residents of Apollonovka, a village of 960 in Omsk oblast, have taken the unusual step of producing a video appeal to Vladimir Putin demanding that he intervene to address their lack of gas, water, roads, medical care and Internet connectivity. They say that “the last straw” was the end of bus service to the district center 55 kilometers away. We may be able to exist without gas, water, roads, Internet, and medical care,” the villagers say in their video; “but we cannot sit still when we are deprives of the elementary opportunity to get out of the village” ( They say they have appealed to the district administration but without success. “From their answers to our appeal, we have drawn the conclusion that our problem will

not be solved.” And while they know that Putin has many problems on his plate, they also believe that their problems should not be ignored either. Their video has been picked up by a number of portals and appears to be on its way to going viral, making this a potentially powerful form of protest and one that calls attention to Russians in the villages who are all too often neglected by the authorities and who want exactly what other Russian want – including Internet. That additional demand is intriguing because it suggests that the power of the Internet in Russia is far broader than many suspect. Even those who don’t have it want it; and if they aren’t connected with the world wide web, they want to be, a remarkable change in public needs and wants in less than a decade. source: window on eurasia

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