These two images were published in the British tabloid Daily Mail. The upper one is from Perm, the lower one is from Birmingham. Photo: dailymail.co.uk
In these photos, store shelves in a Russian provincial town are overflowing under piles of fresh produce. British supermarkets are rationing eggs, fruit and vegetables amid shortages caused in large part by the military conflict in Ukraine, but Vladimir Putin’s citizens have no such problems. Perm, a populous Birmingham city 24 hours from Moscow, shows that the West’s much-vaunted sanctions on Russia are not too strong.
Now it is the UK’s turn to suffer. British farmers faced higher energy costs and had to close their greenhouses for the winter. Eggs are also in short supply: farmers cannot afford to keep laying hens warm.
After a year of sanctions, the British began to suspect something… Photo: dailymail.co.uk
But the inhabitants of Perm, and indeed all of Russia, have a lot of cheap food. There are no problems with heating or gasoline. Income tax in Russia is only 13% compared to the UK rate for higher earners of 40-45%. Medical care is completely free. British John and his Russian wife Elena say: “The average Russian thinks of having a warm home, food on the table, a glass of vodka and safety on the streets. We have it all. We live a good life here.”