from Russia with bias

WEEKEND: Slow Progress

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One thing I like about Moscow is that in the last 20 yeawasn’t was always slowly improving, despite ugly politics and atrocious traffic.

The annual day of the city celebrated this weekend was an example. It was seemingly outsourced to hipsters, like those who have revamped Gorky Park turning it into one of the best places to be in Moscow. The boulevards got filled up with s

talls representing cool small and medium businesses – from restaurants and bookstores to flower and gift shops. There were stages for alternative bands and little makeshift audiences for lectures and debates. 

It looked at least to some extent as a community effort and not at all as the usual Luzhkov-style festival with horrible music and ridiculous Brezhnev meets Disneyland processions. Looking so inexpensive, it also did not smack of money laundering. One could only wonder what was there the city officials could steal from the money allocated for the festivities. There seemed to be no incentive for them at all.

It goes to show – and I think that there is a general agreement about it in the city – that Sobianin is a better mayor than Luzhkov, or at least he has one very smart deputy who stands behind all these improvements. For Sergey Kapkov, we should thank Roman Abramovich who brought this talented man to Moscow from Nizhny Novgorod via Chukotka.

Of course both Sobianin and Kapkov are in the United Russia, while their effort is aimed at appeasing the westernized Muscovites who showed their disenchantment with Putin’s politics in recent protests.

But it’s more than that. Something good and important might be brewing in this rich cultural broth that is Moscow. The political regime is just some crap floating on the surface.

Written by fullofbias

September 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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