I’m stood today in Red Square, the Russian symbol, to talk about a topic which comes up so often here. If you ever find yourself with a Russian not from Moscow, and you tell them you visited Russia because you visited the capital, you’re guaranteed to hear one thing - “Moscow is NOT Russia.” This is even a common comment on my youtube videos from provincial Russians who think I have never left Moscow, even though it’s not true. Why do many Russians believe Moscow, and to a certain extend St Petersburg, is not Russia?
Here are the translated comments featured in the video:
Irina: I am a provincial woman and have lived in Moscow for almost 20 years. I love this city dearly, but from a distance. What I love - energy, movement, museums, history, theatres, many interesting, educated people. Moscow is a cruel city - without dating, connections or arrogance - you are а nobody ( there are some exceptional individual cases - for example due to outstanding mental abilities or lucky circumstances. There is one more option "not for everyone") Regardless of your mind and abilities, they will trample over you and will pass over you like an iron on an ironing board. Eternal traffic jams, no ecology, you live on the road. There is no time for family. In my opinion it's a constant and meaningless race. On returning to my hometown, I got everything I didn’t have in the capital - I opened my own business, began to live and enjoy life, nature, family. Happy! Just not enough medicine and water park. On the other hand it’s near the forest for skiing- beautiful! And we can still go a couple times a year to the theatre and water park in Moscow. I do not divide people by nationality and location, Muscovites and non-Muscovites, for me everyone is equal. But if someone is a turd then there’s nothing a Moscow residence permit, income, houses and planes can do about it. That’s it.
Olga: The first reason is that the same work in Moscow and in the regions is paid differently. For example, an engineer in the region receives 25k rubles/month (I actually do not know the exact numbers, maybe 30 and 35), and in Moscow the same engineer can claim a salary of over 100k.
Ekaterina: Because they are afraid to climb out of their hole and do something, it is better to sit quietly in the backwaters and complain. I used to be a little bit like this and I thought a big city had a lot of turmoil problems, but now I understand that it's great! It has everything! Another point is the low self-esteem and envy which comes from the fact that in Moscow many people are very successful and there's a lot of money flowing everywhere.
Tatyana: Statements like "sit there in your province, whining", "afraid to move", etc. are very unpleasant. I wonder, if we all move from the province to Moscow, what will happen?
Music: Take It Easy, taken from the YouTube Audio Library.