Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
A photo: Ivan MAKEEV
The traditional communication between the mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, and the residents took place today, December 7, live on the TV Center TV channel. Citizens sent their appeals and video questions on important topics via mos.ru in advance. One way or another, many of them concerned the current situation in the country and the world.
Here’s what the mayor said…
THE WEST UNDERESTATED OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE
– The beginning of 2022 was marked by the confidence that the hardest times were over. We have learned how to deal with covid and covid itself has weakened. The economy began to pick up pace again. The world situation then improved. These were months of positive dynamics in all spheres of life. But the tension that was accumulating around Ukraine, the mass of provocations, the dying civilians, all created the feeling that this would not end peacefully. All this caused anxiety. The situation became extremely difficult in March-April of this year and it was difficult to predict how everything would turn out.
The interaction that had developed for decades with European countries was immediately disrupted. Our illusions that the West is friendly to Russia, that they are determined to fulfill all international treaties, that freedom of speech and private property are above all for it, everything collapsed. It’s just that they didn’t give a damn about all the rules of the game, they declared a sanctions war against us with the desire to destroy Russia. Our allies took a neutral position and were also partly inclined to comply with the sanctions. A new reality has arrived for us. By and large, we were left alone – one on one and a half of the world.
The feeling was difficult, but it was also obvious that Russia was underestimated. Our country was considered as it was 10-20 years ago, as a raw materials appendage. They expected that we would collapse from one click, that we would not be able to exist without the flow of Western goods, that the people of Russia would take to the streets to protest, that the country’s leadership and business would panic. None of this happened, they underestimated neither our people nor our country. There was an immediate feeling that Russia would definitely hold out, but no one could say how events would develop.
As a matter of fact, there is a war going on in Ukraine, what is there to hide. On the one hand, foreign NATO specialists are against us with all their technologies and weapons. On the other hand, sanctions that cut us off from the rest of the world. Now we are alone. Russia is no stranger, we have always had two allies – the army and the navy, and so they remained. Our country is strong, able to survive even less such crises. A huge number of countries in the world understand our rightness. They can’t say it out loud, but still, they’re definitely not against us.
MOSKVICH WILL DEVELOP
– A set of measures to support business is now standard, as in a pandemic – targeted measures for enterprises, guarantees, soft loans. But what was not there before was the fact that we had to completely change the logistics of all flows. At the same time, everything that was gained during the pandemic was used immediately during the sanctions. The governments of Moscow and the Russian Federation worked as one team under the leadership of the President. In total, about 80 different support measures were introduced.
The main thing during any crisis is the psychological attitude of all participants. And the population, and business, and government. Business feels the mood of power, it is important for him that you are near and hear. We jointly developed assistance measures. Russian business has seen a lot of things in its life and you can’t scare it just like that. Now we can already say that the first fears did not come true, the business quickly adapted to this situation.
The mayor of the capital at the wheel of the revived Moskvich. Photo: Press Service of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow
Many competitors left, but other problems came. For example, companies that supplied components left the market. All the same, they had to be bought, even in agriculture. Therefore, no one was happy, they say, now we will turn around here, but business has seen new opportunities and many have taken advantage of these opportunities.
The automotive industry turned out to be the most affected, all brands announced their departure and probably thought that we would not produce cars for a hundred years and would drive carts. But the factories are restoring their work. Moskvich retained the team, opportunities, found partners, launched the line in just six months, it’s worth a lot. Now we need to develop our platform. The most promising here will be the production of electric vehicles. Of course, it is not easy to develop this in a short time, but we have nowhere to go, we will develop.
CITY PROGRAMS WILL NOT STOP
– Oil and gas in Moscow’s income today account for a little more than three percent. The capital receives the main profit from trade, financial business, industry, transport, and services. In general, about 800 thousand legal entities work in Moscow, and each brings a penny to the treasury. This creates a sustainable balance.
We have heard enough that now the banks will collapse, the dollar will soar, the financial system will fall apart. But everything survived.
We have not abandoned city development programs. Some programs were forced to slow down for a very short period of time. But today, under the pressure of sanctions, not a single program has been stopped – neither education, nor healthcare, nor social policy. We have not reduced anything anywhere and have not retreated a single step. The Moscow High-Speed Diameter has been launched, now we are launching the Big Circle Metro Line, next year we will open MCD-3 and MCD-4 – huge transport projects. We are building a huge number of clinics, reconstructing old ones, building new first-class hospitals, schools, new neighborhoods, and launching renovations of industrial zones. We have worked and continue to work, as we have implemented our programs, and we will continue to implement them. And Moscow will survive this.
THE CAPITAL BUILT A DEFENSIVE LINE ON THE FORWARD
– We have not had mobilization since the Great Patriotic War. The situation is not easy from the point of view of political and psychological. Many politicians decided to capitalize on this, shed crocodile tears, launched human rights activities. At the same time, the entire machine of the NATO bloc collapsed against us. It was obvious that the resources that were originally available in the NWO could not solve the problem. If the mobilization had not been carried out, the consequences would have been worse.
I have heard rumors that few mobilized people went to Donbass from Moscow. These are unscrupulous arguments. It wasn’t even close. The number of conscripts from Moscow was in the same proportion as in other regions. It is necessary to understand the specifics of Moscow, our base for conscription is much smaller. Many federal ministries and departments, enterprises of the military-industrial complex, the banking system, and other structures where employees have reservations and deferrals are concentrated here. But we coped with the mobilization in the city. The Ministry of Defense confirms this.
Moscow has modernized about 13,000 places to accommodate military personnel not only in the capital, but also in the Moscow region as a whole. Assistance was provided even in the Belgorod region. I came to the front line to really help the military. A number of regions are creating a defensive line in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Defense. We do it with the help of professional builders, and not with one shovel guys dig there. The line includes anti-tank ditches, pillboxes, trenches, shelters for equipment, dugouts. I hope they will save many lives of our soldiers, create, especially in winter, the minimum conditions for their living. In general, the morale of the guys is very good, calm, confident. There is no bravado. I think the guys are doing a decent job.
Sergei Sobyanin and servicemen in the NVO zone, December 2, 2022. Photo: Press Service of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow/TASS
In agreement with the Ministry of Defense, I announced the end of mobilization in the capital. In response, I heard that this is a lie, there is constant talk about the second wave of mobilization. It seems to me that this is done on purpose so that people hide, run away from the country, so that anxiety arises in society, claims against the country’s leadership. This is a pure order to create problems for our country. There is no need to continue mobilization. The President confirmed this.
DONETSK AND LUHANSK ARE PREPARED FOR WINTER
– We started the restoration of social infrastructure and housing for the residents of Donbass with the beginning of the SVO. We were preparing for winter. The situation with engineering is simply terrible, especially in the Donetsk region, which suffered the most from shelling. We had to work hard. It is clear that in one season it is impossible to radically change the situation. In Donetsk today it is difficult with heat, but we have done what could have been done in a short time. This is the preparation of the network, facilities, boiler rooms, water supply systems. Today, several hundred of our employees are there and support emergency teams in the energy sector. In Luhansk, the situation is better.
HELP FOR FIGHTERS’ FAMILIES HAS COME
– In a matter of weeks, many families found themselves without their breadwinners. The help center immediately began to solve their problems. Only about 20,000 applications were received from relatives of mobilized citizens for various types of assistance – employment, support for elderly parents and children, housing issues, and many others.
THERE WILL BE NO STREET CONCERTS AND FIRES UNDER THE CHIMNEY
– As for the New Year, we never voted. What discussions unfolded, they say, there is no need to hold a holiday, you need to send money to support the NWO. But the income from such a holiday is much greater than the savings on it. After all, this is the life of the city, the work of catering, enterprises, hotels. Someone says that from a moral point of view, now is not the time for the holidays. But I talked with the guys in the trenches, they are for celebrating, and they say that they will also celebrate the New Year, if the commanders allow, then they will raise a glass.
Now there are no big street concerts and fireworks planned in the capital. But remember the traditions in our country. In 1941, the situation was much worse and still celebrated the New Year. Of course, we should not forget about those who risk their lives on the front line, but a holiday should be a holiday. If we are depressed today, it will only play into the hands of our enemies. Let’s live in the traditions in which our country has always lived and lives. We will allocate the income that the city will receive from festive events to support military personnel and their families.
The wish for the New Year is understandable – to be confident in the future, not to lose the fighting spirit that is always inherent in our country, not to lose mutual assistance, a sense of camaraderie, a sense of duty, love for one’s country. I want to wish our servicemen good luck and victory. And we will do everything to help them in this.