December 2022, Russia

The morning of December 27 looks different from my window: neither parents dropping off their kids, nor school buses. It seems earlier than it actually is.

I haven’t written here forever.

It  doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts. Let’s try to put them together.

As you know I try to monitor news, mostly Russian/Tomsk news.

Independent journalists, whom I watch on YouTube, talk about the lawlessness in the (Russian) army, when officers beat soldiers, about fires across the country, about speeches/statements by high-ranking officials.

My Tomsk/non-Tomsk friends and relatives are trying to live a normal life: they are working, preparing for the New Year holidays, for an increase in utility bills and public transport.

But, as one girl said, the news eventually “catches up” and scares with inadequacy and prohibitions

I am not a journalist, I don’t have time, resources, and ability to get all the news and analyze them.

But here is something that caught my attention: 

-The former commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces, Army General Alexei Maslov, died on Sunday, December 25, at the age of 70. 

For whatever reason it was reported by The Press Service of the Uralvagonzavod Concern.

-The body of wealthy Russian businessman and lawmaker Pavel Antonov (65) was found under the window of the Odisha Hotel in India on Saturday, Dec 24. Before that, on December 22, his friend businessman from Yoshkar-Ola, Vladimir Bidenov (61) was found in a room of the same hotel. 

Russian state media and Russian Consulate General in Kolkata call it “tragic circumstances” (Bidenov’s suspected cause of death was a heart attack, while Antonov’s was his fall out a window).

-The bizarre deaths come just a few days after Alexander Buzakov, the director general of Russia’s Admiralty Shipyards, died “suddenly and tragically” at the age of 66. His cause of death remains unclear.

-A few weeks earlier, one-time real estate tycoon Dmitry Zelenov died suddenly while visiting friends in the French Riviera.

-At least 13 other prominent Russian figures, many of them involved in the oil and gas industry, have died in strange circumstances this year.

That sounds… strange, but not quite. The Russians call it a “purge”.

I think many people already know what to expect from the current Russian government administration.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that many citizens are leaving Russia or want to leave.

According to unverified data, more than a million people left the country in 2022.

Of course, the government does not agree with this situation. So what are they doing? Create new laws to punish their own citizens.

Of the latest: The State Duma is developing a law on the introduction of an increased tax rate for Russians who have left. It was stated by the Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.

As I said above,  there are many fires in Russia happening now: 

-On December 20, a gas pipeline in Chuvashia (Urengoy-Pomara-Uzhgorod gas pipeline) exploded. 3 people were killed. The authorities promise to help the families of the victims. But what kind of help is a big question. 

-On December 21, about 100 people were evacuated from the building due to a fire in the north-west of Moscow.

-On December 21, 2 children died in a fire in an apartment in Novosibirsk*.

-On December 22, a fire broke out during repair work on the Admiral Kuznetsov. The fire is extinguished, there are no casualties and no damage.

-On December 23, a fire broke out in the building of the main directorate of the National Guard of Russia in Moscow.

-December 24, New Moscow**, passenger bus fire, no injuries.

-On December 24, Kemerovo***, a fire broke out in a private shelter for the homeless. 22 people were killed.

-December 24, Bashkiria****Two people died in a fire in a residential building.

-On December 27, Novosibirsk, a fire broke out in the warehouse. No injuries were reported.

While I was collecting information for this blog, 

-On December 28, Tomsk, a two-storey wooden house. Firefighters rescued 10 people.

I am not mentioning places like military enlistment offices are being set on fire all over the country.

Curious news from the town of Kedrovy (a town in the north of the Tomsk region). Its residents actively discuss the topic of the appearance of wolves in the town. Hopefully the problem will be solved.

Meanwhile, Tomsk lit its main Christmas tree. Here’s a link to a short video if you’re interested.

Fireworks are prohibited in Tomsk, Moscow, Crimea, Krasnodar…and most likely all over the country.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! I wish you peace and prosperity!

My friend Marina

*Novosibirsk is a city in Siberia, in the south of Russia, about 250 km from Tomsk

**New Moscow is the territory of the Moscow Region, annexed to Moscow on July 1, 2012, almost 2.5 times the area of the capital itself.

***Kemerovo is a city in the south-east of Western Siberia, about 200 kilometers from Tomsk. The city’s economy is based on the coal and chemical industries

****The Republic of Bashkortostan is a subject of the Russian Federation named after the indigenous people – Bashkirs. The republic is located in the southern part of the Ural Mountains, on the border of Europe and Asia.


Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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