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Russia: poverty breeds election apathy

Russia: poverty breeds election apathy
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With elections under way in Russia, the many millions of people living in poverty will be left wondering if the results on the day, will even make a difference.

The opposition parties have voiced concerns over unbalanced media coverage and vote rigging, as the public become ever more apathetic towards politician’s empty promises.

In the city of Kurgan, doctors and nurses went on strike, taking to the streets in protest at the cuts in their salaries of 30 percent.

Konstantin Beschetnov, Russia Party member argues more needs to be done. He said: “His (the Governor’s) interest should be to improve the situation in the Kurgan region. That’s the main idea. Why should we fight? We should work together.”

Many Russians have had their share of disappointment since the break up of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. The disparity in the distribution of wealth between the rich and the poor continues to grow.

Living condition for millions of people are quite literally in tatters and as Russia feels the effects of the financial crisis, many fear the situation will worsen.

Galina Lebedeva has assurances from her local council that repairs are on the way.

While Oksana Kharlamova, another Kurgan resident, despairs at the dilapidated, mosquito ridden living conditions she is forced to raise her grandchildren in. Cradling one young grand-daughter, she told reporters: “We have to cover her with a blanket to save her from bites. It’s really hard for me. I am only forty years old. I was left without a job and it just kills me that I cannot help my grandchildren.”

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