It's not just a matter of bad intentions, or corruption.It's not just a matter of bad intentions, or corruption.It's not just a matter of bad intentions, or corruption.

It's not just a matter of bad intentions, or corruption.

Luiz Freitas
It's not just a matter of bad intentions, or corruption.
Turning the reaction to this tragedy into a depolitized expression of sorrow might sound moral, but it's also exactly what the culprits want


Imagine you have a time machine, and sets off to Kemerovo, years before, with the duty of preventing this disaster from happening.

Kemerovo is a former mining town, plagued by economic malaise. Actually, this is a country wide disease. Not so long ago, a shop owner somewhere in the forgotten Russia listed the factories closed down in the "Putin's age", only to receive a visit from the police shortly after. The drastic closure of several large industries, who were the reason to exist of many small to medium sized cities across Russia, goes back from early 90s, at recommendation of top economists, and continues to happen nowadays.

With that in mind, imagine you entered the city hall in a time portal, saying converting one of those mothballed factories into a bright huge shopping mall isn't a good idea. That a building made for a factory perhaps should house a factory. Or be brought down, rebuilt from scratch, whatever. These things cost money, they cost time. You would be shouted down, by both the local authorities, the common sense well intended citizens, the Navalniy fanboys, as someone on the way of jobs and business.

Alternatively you could have the high safety standards from developed countries. Well, that didn't help in Grenfell Tower, London, but let's disregard the UK as a banana country, which is not far from truth, and look at the real elite of the world in that sense: Germany and Northern Europe. In those places, children don't burn alive. But in those places, things cost more. Berlin can't finish its new airport because those safety measures seem to be impossible to comply. The cost of building new apartments up to the safety and acessibility requirements is so high in Sweden that it's taken as one of the culprits for the country high housing prices and few apartments avaliable. Imagine you proposing german like fire laws for (what is perceived as) a shithole in Siberia. You would be accused of wanting Soviet Union back. It's almost as if scandinavian children wouldn't worth more than russian children.

Ironically enough, factories are seen as dangerous and dirty. Replacing jobs in a factory for jobs in a shopping mall strike out as an obviously good idea. Today's Russia speaks of its de industrialization as almost a good thing. Putin brags about Russia becoming the world biggest exporter of wheath. The only parts of Russia not condemned to poverty an emigration are precisely Moscow, where Winter Cherry like complexes are abundant, and the oil extracting areas. The de industrialization and precarization of russian economy is not an accident or consequence of a crisis, but an intentional project.

The lack of opportunities in the countryside meant that in Russia anyone claiming it can generate profit can do whatever if it wants. And the fact these people are obscenely rich are seen as a reason to trust them more. A country needs to be desperate to have a law exempting "small businesses" from safety checks for three years. A country needs to be even more desperate to classify a huge shopping mall as a "small business". This wouldn't happen anywhere in the world. This could only happen in a country where the exact opposite of socialism, whatever it is, was promoted as the solution for everything, even when it was obviously leading to african style poverty, when it was giving birth to billionaires like Denis Shtengelov, the owner of the mall complex. The official version is that the Yeltsin years, the shameful years of Russia in free downfall, were over, but in fact we are only in a new stage of it.

This tragedy, and its timing, is sadly a portrait of everything that is wrong with Russia at once. The country that sent a men to the space before any other can't afford safety regulations that any third world country can. These fires are periodical, almost a statistical certainty, not an accident. This is a country that forgot that it is the biggest of the world, and doesn't seem to care about anything that happens east of the MKD. Kemerovo? Why bother? You can offer 3 million rubles, the price of a good car, to the victims and be seen as a benefactor. That's how much siberian children are worth it. And hence why I called it before a "shithole". That's not my assessment. It's theirs.

Meanwhile, the whole world agrees russian lives are cheap. These children doesn't deserve the same attention from the international press as a professional traitor such as Skripal. The same Australia that expells russian diplomats is the country that houses the billionaire oligarch, who certainly isn't losing sleep over those deaths, not asking questions of where his money came from, not asking why he is so reluctant about going back to Russia and facing his victims.

It's easy to replace politicians. Blame politicians. You could even replace Putin himself and end up in the same country. The reason for yet another failure with the russian people is that all power in Russia is concentrated in the hands of a bunch of people that got rich at the costs of dismantling the state, not for having any skill or talent, but solely by being in the right place in the right time. The politicians only take their orders.

Being liberal, pro business, Sobchak like, and being furious with what happened in Kemerovo is like love eating beef but not considering itself responsible for the cow's death. A Russia that pursuits profit at any cost will only kill more children in the future.

And what to do from now? Turning the reaction to this tragedy into a depolitized expression of sorrow might sound moral, but it's also exactly what the culprits want. Mourning, "homages", flowers and memorials might sound humane and decent, but will not save any children in the future. The people taking part on it might be good intended, the ones calling for it arent. Like the vice governor of Kemerovo oblast, who had the audacity of accusing a father, organizer of the spontaneous protests, who lost all his family, of "trying to exploit the tragedy". He perhaps is projecting himself into him. It was "apolitical" common sense that led us to this situation, and "not talking about politics" will only perpetuate it. This doesn't sound the cutest thing, but the angels of Kemerovo deserve more your anger, than your sadness.

Luiz Freitas

  • BTC: bc1qu5fqdlu8zdxwwm3vpg35wqgw28wlqpl2ltcvnh
  • BCH: qp87gcztla4lpzq6p2nlxhu56wwgjsyl3y7euzzjvf
  • BTG: btg1qgeq82g7efnmawckajx7xr5wgdmnagn3j4gjv7x
  • ETH: 0xe51FF8F0D4d23022AE8e888b8d9B1213846ecaC0
  • LTC: ltc1q3vrqe8tyzcckgc2hwuq43f29488vngvrejq4dq

2011-2020 © - ЛІВА інтернет-журнал