Staunton, April 12 – The Russian truckers’ strike -- which has now spread to almost all regions of the Russia and restricted deliveries of food and other goods as a result -- is beginning to be felt by ordinary Russians who now face empty shelves and is sparking speculation that those governors who haven’t been able to restrict the strikes may soon be replaced.
While most major retail chains have enough supplies on hand not to be affected yet by the truckers’ strike, smaller independent outlets and stores in smaller cities in a number of regions have less variety and higher prices as a result of the strike, according to the Russian Consumer Rights Society (kommersant.ru/doc/3268616).
The Society appealed to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to take action to ensure that food and other critical supplies are delivered in a timely fashion and that prices for such goods do not rise to unconscionable levels. It said that it had received 116 appeals from its members in 34 regions and that some action is needed now.
According to the society, the situation is most dire in the republics of Daghestan where the situation is already critical, Komi, and Buryatia, in Irkutsk, Leningrad, and Murmansk oblasts and in 12 other federal subjects. Medvedev’s press secretary, however, “could not comment on the declaration of the society,” Kommersant reports.
But perhaps even more serious is a commentary by Tatyana Alekseyeva in Svobodnaya pressa who says that “as a result of protest actions and arrest, governors are sharply losing their standing” with the population and Moscow and that those who handle the strike the least well are likely to be replaced (yug.svpressa.ru/politic/article/145757/).
The federal subject head most likely to lose his position as a direct result of the truckers’ strike is Ramazan Abdulatipov, she suggests. His republic is currently a center of the strike and besides making declarations, the republic head has not been able to prevent “an escalation of tension.” He hasn’t even been willing to meet the truckers once.
Other governors where the truck strike is strong, Alekseyeva says, could follow Abdulatipov out the door.