Record temperature — minus 62 degrees — was registered in Nefteyugansk, located in Western Siberia. Since mid-December in the region has been very low temperatures 15 degrees below normal. If it was growing warmer, only minus 30. Meteorologists explain that to blame the polar vortex which has frozen Siberia. Is it possible to survive in these conditions? Although this cold not fly the aircraft and do not operate schools, but in far way better to go in convoy, the Japanese cars (here the majority) continue to start.
Frost keeps the region by the throat until April: nature doesn’t care that disadvantage people find it hard not only to live but to die. The question of delay if the locals the funeral until the spring, climbs on the tongue. Winter lasts six months.
Lipinski, Karol (the Karol Lipiński), rector of the parish in the well-known (yet) Polish village Peak in the Irkutsk region, calmly explains that the funeral is carried out on the third day after death: how much time required to prepare the grave. Need to bring wood, build a fire in the cemetery, then dig out the thawed earth, and the next day to repeat the whole operation. Usually to get unfrozen layer only on the third day. Then we can finish the ceremony.
The true masters here — the adherents of shamanism, and not Orthodox or Catholic. “We are not threatening them, not compete with them,” says the vicar General of the Roman Catholic diocese of St. Joseph in Irkutsk and the rector of the parish of the Immaculate heart of the Mother of God Wlodzimierz H (Włodzimierz Siek). Father H belongs to the monastic order of Berbatov. Previously, he worked in the Amur river near the Chinese border, and about ten years ago he moved to Irkutsk. “Catholicism will never become the main religion here,” he notes, adding that he constantly hears in Siberia, saying that “nothing the Catholics here will not work.” Now he knows it’s true. Catholics not even all the local poles. The idea that in the morning they read on the knees of prayer, and evening study Adam Mickiewicz is a myth. Some are Orthodox, some even lost their faith. Men to serve in the temple rarely go, because prayer is a female thing.
Regular sermons in the Polish language lead makes no sense, they are in Russian. “The Catholic Church must be universal and pragmatic,” says Sec. All the Russian I know: Russian, Buryat and poles.
The population of Russia year from a year decreases (increases were noted after the annexation of Crimea), and from the cards disappear the next point. According to official data, over the past two decades this has been the fate of 23 thousand settlements. To blame here, demography and economic reasons. In Siberia, now live only 18.5 million people. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the population of the region decreased by almost 4 million. People go to the big cities of the European part of Russia. Simultaneously, the light appears fewer and fewer children.
Authorities are trying to reverse the situation. From February 1, every Russian can obtain a free hectare of land in the far East. In the vast and depopulated Siberia is not much, but if the family consists of four or five members, you can make a good economy. You only need to settle not less than 10 kilometres from the nearest city with a population of 50 thousand people or about 20 kilometers from cities with population from 300 thousand people. Area can even choose, and within five years for it do not have to pay the tax. Then if the officials deem that the earth is mastered, it will be available to rent or in the property.
Siberia is incredibly rich in natural resources. It is a true periodic table: there is not only oil and gas but also gold, platinum, tungsten, diamonds. Russia lived them and continues to live even now, when because of the crisis commodity revenues shrank. However, in the region outside the major cities there is no basic infrastructure. The situation should change thanks to the new colonization, which I hope will increase the number of inhabitants of Siberia six times. They say that moving interest already 20 million Russians.
Orphans — victims of alcohol
Siberia, perhaps even more than other Russian regions, suffering from a family crisis, or rather, from a lack of men. Landscape — the endless taiga, or vast steppe. And even this bitter cold. In the end, to warm up, to chill out or to drown out the anguish, the easiest way to pick up a bottle. The role played by unemployment: only a few dozen kilometers from Irkutsk, there are villages where the smoke is coming from just two pipes, a wooden house covered on one side, the barns are empty and the fields from the snow Peeps unharvested grain. The collective is no more. There is no work.
According to statistics, the inhabitants of Siberia in the year drinks 18 liters of pure alcohol (pole -10). Drink everything: alcohol, Cologne and various surrogates. The most popular, called “Hawthorn,” which can be bought even in street machines, last year claimed the lives of 78 residents of Irkutsk. As found out a consequence, on the local market, a batch of product, the production of which together ethyl alcohol used with methyl.
In Irkutsk you can buy everything, including alcoholic beverages without excise stamps, the consumption of which because of low prices continues to grow. After Irkutsk tragedy several distributors were behind bars, and President Vladimir Putin instructed to reduce the excise tax on alcohol. If it is cheaper, people will be less likely to turn to the black market or use of “alternative” drinks. They drink, however, do not stop.
Local men (if they are not prohibited religion) drink and die young (according to the Lancet, 25% do not survive to 55 years). According to official data, if the average life expectancy of Russians is 71 years old, in Siberia — 51. The situation worsen along with drugs. Stay strong women, single or with children. Every man here is worth its weight in gold — no matter who he is, just was. He may even be married and the family and a few other women — is the norm. Nobody sees nothing wrong in this, nor the fact that several children in the family can be different fathers. Men, in turn, do not worry if the wife has a lover: once there is a replacement, you can safely drink. Increasingly abuse alcohol start women. Increasing the number of orphans: they are now larger than in 1945 after the great Patriotic war.
To live better than parents
“They’re going from Irkutsk to Moscow, thinking that there would be better. But in Moscow nobody waits for them,” says the PhD in political science from the University of Irkutsk Alexey Petrov. Irkutsk has always been a scientific center of Siberia, it was called the last European city. Now to study here young people come from the Baikal region and Buryatia Republic, almost half of the province. “It’s good. In the village, they see nothing: nor good examples, no chance for life,” — said Petrov. Inhabitants of Irkutsk go to major cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk. Research that was recently conducted at the University showed that more than half of young people do not want to repeat the fate of their parents: they want to live better.
From the same survey suggests that every day to work in Siberia 50 thousand people (SIC — approx. ed.). It is the Chinese who settle there, not where you want to work Russians. “Stories about the “yellow threat”, however, remain a myth, at least in Irkutsk”, — said Petrov. In the region is too hard and too cold. However, authorities in Zabaykalsky Krai, which borders China, has signed an agreement with the Chinese company Zoje Resources, handing in her use for a nominal fee, more than 115 thousand hectares of land. The Chinese have promised additional 85 hectares, if they are busy engaged in the land and to supply the market with meat and vegetables.
These actions are connected with the sanctions that were imposed against Russia after the annexation of Crimea. When the Russian market disappeared the European products, it became clear that agriculture is an important industry. The Chinese say they are willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars. In turn, the Russians who are afraid of “sinicization”, sent the President a petition demanding the Chinese to cut back the appetite because of the above-mentioned decisions were made suddenly and without consultation.
It seems, however, that everything is under control: when the Chinese becomes too much, the government reacts ruthless deportations. At the same time there is an opinion that the Chinese and Chinese culture in the South-East of the country becoming more and more. They open Chinese restaurants, and in Irkutsk works even the Chinese market, where sellers talk to each other in Chinese.
The Chinese work in Siberia on earth. They grow their own vegetables. They even say that they are completely subjugated this area, planting under cover everything that can be grown. They’re getting married: a few men, and it is better to marry a Chinese man than to be alone. Recently there have been more and more Chinese families who have children. The Chinese are leasing land, using the Russians as figureheads (they do that by law can not), take out loans in Chinese banks, investing, taking to their work compatriots.
In Irkutsk, for anybody not a secret that nine out of ten of the trucks are taken from the forest illegally felled trees. Doing it mostly to Chinese companies. The Chinese have leased huge tracts of forest, but felled the forest, not only there. They steal the wood and taken her abroad, bribing Russian officials.
Have not seen Moscow
People say that before, that is, in the Soviet Union, to live in Siberia was easier. Was the work different allowances and economic privileges, which are then canceled. “Everything used to be closer to any point can be reached by plane. The tickets were cheap, and the flights — comfortable, — says Galina Mostovshchikov of the Buryat town of Kyakhta. — Many of today’s Siberians have never been in the Urals, have not seen Moscow and St. Petersburg, they are 20 years never went anywhere. Tickets are too expensive, nobody can afford it”. Flights connecting the Siberian city, no: they are unprofitable. Long years of Siberian land were drained of wealth: oil, gas, metals, gold. However, the proceeds from the sale almost did not return to Siberia. This predatory exploitation of the resources of the local residents harbored by Moscow offense.
They do not consider their land “empty” and get angry when someone calls her that. Here they are born, live and die, and feel special. In the last census, there is a new nationality — “Siberian”. This one who lives in the Urals, and for whom Moscow has become a different country. People have learned more or less successfully to survive, not relying on the help of the Central government.
Perhaps now the situation will change. And again — ironically — due to Western sanctions. Russia after ten years of negotiations, signed the Memorandum on supply China with Siberian gas. Construction began on a new main gas pipeline “Power of Siberia”. From Yakutia it will go to Vladivostok, its length will amount to more than 4 thousand kilometers. This segment will ship 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year. “Nothing bigger in the world occur in this area in the near future will not be”, — Putin said at the ceremony dedicated to the start of construction of the pipeline. A large construction project always attracts money, people, professionals. She will create a movement and at least a few years will give work, money and husbands.
Perhaps Siberia will be able to use the flagship project of China — New silk way. This is a project for the creation of Railways, highways, ports and infrastructure, designed to revive the trade in the entire Central and South Asia and a stronger link between Moscow and Beijing. Simultaneously, this project may result (including Siberia) the increasing importance of China and the economic colonization: cultural, peaceful, gradual.
Now the inhabitants of Siberia more than frost and the Chinese fear the heat. Last year the temperature for several weeks were above 35 ° C mark. The heat carried in mortal danger: the layer of permafrost began to melt and released anthrax spores that were left after the epidemic, which visited Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district in 1941. This year summer also promises to be hot.