Friday, 29 April 2011


Another sign of Spring for me, is the change in street cleaning utensils (about which both winter and summer versions I seem to have a strange obsession). As the sun begins to shine, the shovels and scrapers and ice-breaking crowbars are being replaced with little swish brooms and wheelbarrow variants.

We have also had a subbotnik* in the public outside areas at work - which I missed - and meanwhile the Mayor is talking about cleaning up the decaying entrances and yards of Moscow's housing blocks. This would be a massive investment as a huge amount of housing has been left to decay in the post-soviet period (and was not well looked after in soviet times) so I am not sure I believe it. And of course the public zones of stairs and entrances have suffered worse. A public campaigning group called чистый подбездChisty Podyezd/Clean Doorway has been getting people to post pictures to their website of bad examples, and giving prizes to the worse!

* to quote directly from Wikipedia - "Subbotnik and voskresnik (from Russian words суббота [suˈbotə] for Saturday and воскресенье [vəskrʲɪˈsʲenʲjɪ] for Sunday) were days of volunteer work following the Bolshevik seizure of power. The tradition is continued in modern Russia and some other former Soviet Republics.[1] Subbotniks are mostly organized for cleaning the streets of garbage, fixing public amenities, collecting recyclable material, and other community services."

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