Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
that's the thing to keep in mind while discussing infrastructure: many bits are not a direct responsibility of the federal government.

Interesting that you brought this up.  I was just reading the following:

Abramovich's Chukotka Miracle

And he did just that over the next seven years of his governorship. His professional team of managers pulled Chukotka out of its state of crisis. New schools and hospitals were built, housing units were repaired and investment flowed into the region. Last year the government approved a development program for Chukotka based on the region's mineral resources that was submitted by Abramovich's Millhouse Capital company, which owns two gold mines there.

Already, cash revenues in Chukotka are among the highest in Russia, lagging behind only Tyumen, Yamal-Nenets and the Moscow region, and average salaries surpass those in both Moscow and Tyumen. In addition, while Abramovich was governor, the number of people who left Chukotka for other cities dropped, and both alcoholism and the crime rate declined.

The "Chukotka miracle" is a result not only of modern and effective management. The taxes on Abramovich's enormous personal income, which were about 1 billion rubles, went to the region's treasury. Moreover, until 2006, 60 percent of the regional budget was financed by business deals connected with Sibneft, which Abramovich sold to Gazprom for $13 billion in 2005.

After the Sibneft sale, however, Abramovich had to compensate for the lost income to the budget by drawing on his personal funds. From that moment on, it is believed, the governorship became a burden for Abramovich, and he began looking for ways to tender his resignation. Another reason why Abramovich may have decided to resign is that for a person who is so creative and loves starting new ventures, the Chukotka governorship became too routine.

In contrast to all other governors, Abramovich's political weight is not affected by whether he serves in a government post. But it is unclear how Chukotka will fare without Abramovich as its main patron. Abramovich's representatives have announced that he will continue to pay his personal taxes in Chukotka and that two of his charitable funds in the region will continue operations. Chukotka can only hope that Abramovich will fulfill all of his promises.

Seems as if it is local to the point of personal charity in this case...

I think your point further underlines mine, that it's hard to criticise the President, or at least only the President, when rural outlying areas are in disrepair.  However, the federal government has been playing a direct role in the choosing/appointing of those who are responsible for local infrastructure.  This is "managed democracy."  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Jul 8th, 2008 at 04:25:41 PM EST
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