A ghost town in the heart of Siberian taiga

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Tatyana Guseeva stumbling along, for a bumpy semi-paved road, the chair with which you take your child for a daily walk smaller. It is not that there is much fun for minors in this suburb of Novosibirsk where he has lived for more than a year. Surrounded by gigantic sinkholes, grass that literally reaches the same portals, noisy excavators drilling holes with permanence, heating pipes pending to be buried and buildings of cheap panels united in haste by a cement that even overflows from its indentations, all around it oozes provisionality, to the point that it becomes difficult to accept that hundreds of citizens are already residing in these apartments prepaid.

“Life here is very difficult; I have two children and there are no parks or hospitals; there is not even one road built; only after much insistence, they just installed the ascentr; one for two portals“he protests.

This is Pliushikhinski, a hastily built ghost district in the far eastern of the Siberian capital that does not even officially exist in the municipal cadastre. The company that has raised it, denoted Diskus Plus, belonging to Sergei Dzulai, considered by many to be the councilor richer of the local council and candidate for re-election in the regional elections of this Sunday.

Combining politics and business to a level difficult to imagine in any European country, Djulai controls practically everything in the suburb: companies he owns manufacture the precast material with which the houses are built, they provide services such as electricity, the heating and the Hot water, the few stores and internet providers open a little further north run … And most likely, according to the opposition, they pay the beefy big men that patrol the place aboard bulky vehicles with traction on the four wheels and that they stop in an intimidating way as soon as they see a journalist from foreign appearance asking questions to neighbors. A huge electoral poster with the oligarch’s face presides over many parts of the neighborhood, where you can read his electoral slogan: “housing must be accessible”.

“We feel ripped off”

“When we sold Our apartment, Diskus recommended my family to buy a floor here, and now we feel completely cheated, “explains a teenager who prefers not to reveal her name.” We live on a tenth floor, and during winters, ice seeps in; the upper floors they flood when it rains, “he continues. Tatyana Vikhitovich, an elderly woman, complains about not being able to register in her newly acquired home, a legal requirement whose violation in Russia implies an administrative sanction.

“Is a pyramid scheme; Dzulai doesn’t invest his own money, he just builds as he receives money from buyers, “he explains. Yaroslav Vlasov, news portal reporter Taiga-Info. The oligarch “needs the seat of councilor; without his (political) mandate, his business scheme would stop working; not only would he go bankrupt but he would probably end up in jail,” he denounced. on his blog, before being poisoned, the opponent Alekséi Navalni, convalescing in a German hospital.

And with the aim of guaranteeing the construction businessman turned politician a new mandate of five years at the Novosibirsk town hall, electoral board, judges and local powers that be seem to have been used thoroughly in recent weeks, according to a complaint Danil Markílov, district candidate for the opposition 2020 Coalition and separated at the last moment of the electoral list by a questioned problem procedural.

“During the campaign, thugs, probably paid by him, have attacked me while I was campaigning, they have tried to discredit me by accusing me of pedophile; finally some of our signatures supporting the candidacy were invalidated because their authors modified the census at the last minute; I take for granted that they bribed“, reports Markílov.



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