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Russia on the verge of big changes

April 17, 2017


Truck on the road - http://www.drivingidea.ru/WOTM/WOTM-3.html -

The introduction of the "Platon" system caused discontent among Russian drivers of heavy vehicles almost from the very first day of its operation. However, such a scope as today, their protests have not yet reached. A truly epic strike, which can be followed in detail in the video chronicle on the YouTube channel , runs from March 27th in a variety of areas, and it is even possible to study the geography of the country by its location. At the same time, drivers not only make motor rides and put cars along the highway, but also talk a lot about their problems, bring criticism to the administration, and make political demands.

According to them, it is simply unprofitable to pay fees charged by the infamous "Platon", and therefore there is no reason to go on trip, practically all the proceeds from which will be spent to pay for a new fee. Particularly strong truckers are outraged by the fact that these bankrupting payments are not directed at all to the state budget, but to a certain commercial structure, which is likely to be given the opportunity to spend the collected money in the way the management of this organization decides, rather than on current state needs - including not on the restoration of Russian roads, the poor condition of which can often be heard today.

Some of the leaders of today's strike took an active part in the last year's tractor march of farmers who wanted to share their problems with the state authorities, caused by an unfair redistribution of land, after they would reach Moscow on their agricultural machinery. It can be said that this tractor march stopped by the authorities became the dress rehearsal for the present strike, as it allowed the representatives of small business discontented with the situation to get rid of some psychological barriers that had for a long time held back the development and spread of the workers and peasants movement. Despite the fact that the tractor march of the Kuban farmers did not reach its ultimate goal, it awakened the dragon of the economic protests that had long been sleeping in the cave of the official propaganda.

As a result, the strike of truckers, which began the day after the anti-corruption rallies that swept across the country, was, unlike a number of earlier similar actions, mass and all-Russian. It covered sixty regions and already affected the supply of the trade network with products, causing in some places a rise in prices. It is unlikely that the supply of goods will resume in the near future, since truckers are clearly not going to return to their unprofitable activities, and the authorities, for their part, are not ready to abolish the "Platon" system. Moreover, judging by the stubbornness of the leaders and the decisive mood of the participants in the strike, the prices for food can grow even more, since it is unlikely that in the near future the striking drivers will again be engaged in transportation.

These events occur against the backdrop of further deepening of the economic crisis that began in Russia in 2013 due to the backwardness of its manufacturing industries or even their actual absence. In the same YouTube it is easy to find reports about the plight of the inhabitants of the remote area, who lose their jobs, cannot receive their salaries for a long time, and are forced to save on vital purchases. As it was easy to assume from the whole previous history of industrial development, the period of high oil prices was left behind, and new technologies for its extraction and alternative energy sources emerged into the arena of the world economy. There is no doubt that shale oil, solar and wind power stations will be firmly entrenched in the energy market and will rapidly expand their presence there. In the end, traditionally produced oil will become only one of the energy carriers widely used in production, transport and household - and not the cheapest one. This can put an end to the oil era, which, like coal in its time, is apparently coming to an end.

Gone are the steam engines, petrol engines are also leaving away for the past. Transport is more and more eager for electric traction, it is possible that other industries will follow its example. According to some estimates, the cost of a trip on an electric car is twenty times lower than the cost of traveling by a car with an internal combustion engine. This is more than a weighty argument for the universal rapid transition to electric transport, the dissemination of which, moreover, in some countries has received support from the authorities. Strongly dependent on commodity exports, Russia as a result will simply have to resurrect its production sphere from non-existence. It is awaited by a difficult competition with cheap Chinese goods, not the most extensive opportunities in the foreign market and low solvency of the domestic one. Such are the results of the destruction of the largely self-sufficient Soviet economy, which, although it did not produce many necessary goods - in particular, for consumer consumption - still allowed the country to be, in general, independent of imported supplies and technologies.


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