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And I'll ask you to stay ...

A series of essays on the countrymen who have disappeared. Essay 2

And I'll ask you to stay ...
Photo: It's scary to remember: the Far East survived this way

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
So, in the mass departure of residents of the Far Eastern region of the beginning of the 90-ies, traditionally Are surprised not to. Yes, hundreds of thousands of Far Easterners, caught up by the storm of the collapse of the USSR, were spread across cities and villages of the seventh land, and beyond. But much more remains. The high authorities left. It always left. Departure almost the entire Soviet period was thought of simply as one of the stages of official career in the region. And not only bureaucratic. Left "invited experts with the preservation of the apartment at the former place of residence." But they were not perceived as permanent residents.

But far from all the workers of the closing defense plants, “unprofitable” housing and utilities enterprises and social workers left. There are even many officers of “optimized” military units. About seven and a half million people remain in place. At this moment, the region’s hidden labor redundancy becomes apparent. That's when the unique adventure begins. Moreover, not an individual adventure, but an entire region. As the doctor-professor said after the detour: Patients want to live. And medicine is powerless here.

The first period, the beginning of the 90s, brought about a massive "shuttle" movement. In neighboring China, they traveled for clothes, if not all, then very, very many. Former Komsomol members and former servicemen, teachers and doctors, workers and scientists rush into the "business". The reason is obvious: I want to eat very much. "Shopping centers", as well as the commercial suburbs, enliven the appearance of the Far Eastern cities. Especially in its southern part.

The north survived by fish, leaking into Japanese and, later, Chinese ports, unique natural resources. He did not live very well. Northerners left, in general, percent on 20-25 more actively than southerners. But the survivors also somehow survived. The skilled workers of the disappearing enterprises of the military-industrial complex offer their services in repairing everything and everything. Experience of movers and tutors, showmen and healers is acquired by a variety of, often unexpected people. The crime begins to supply "power services" (repayment of debts, guarantee of transactions, etc.), which ceased to provide a weakening state. Customs officers and border guards, as poorly provided and reduced, like all other "siloviki", were quite "negotiable". There was a total (regional) "porto Franco".

Gradually, from this total business environment, much larger economic entities were allocated. Privatization of the "Soviet trophy" in the region had its own specifics. Industrial giants, focused on defense were of interest only in terms of further resale "in parts" (machines, buildings, rooms, etc.). Seriously to use them, the new owners did not intend to. But much more interest was provided by forest plots and fishing fleets, land funds, gold plots, transport, shopping centers, hotels, construction facilities, etc. Valuable was that which was somehow connected with the economy of the region and the possibilities of export to the countries of Northeast Asia.

New owners needed a new, legal "power operator". "Bandits" cease to organize a new regional economy. At this stage, “force services” to the regional business and not only to the business are already provided by a completely legal and absolutely legitimate regional authority. And even though most of the interactions with the authorities in the region were based on informal principles, the principles themselves were generally understood and effective. When it is said today that one or another regional politician or businessman “was connected with a crime,” it is worth understanding that informal interactions were universal at that time. That is, this means that this person WAS just doing something.

Without going into the controversy about the structure of the "economy of the roofs" or "the economy of the regional barons" of the second half of the 90-s, we note only that it was a farm that led the region, which was firmly tied to regional interests. For the first time, after a long Soviet period, major regional policy and economic leaders lived in the region, unable to leave it for any long time. Not burdened with tough laws, “accounting” and similar bureaucratic notions, they were tied to the region by a complex system of informal contracts (with government, customs, partners and employees), which only made their business profitable. It was necessary to negotiate "on the spot". This moment was noted by almost all the respondent entrepreneurs in a series of interviews collected by the author in 1998-99 in the course of working on the project “Changing the behavior of the economically active population in a crisis”.

But, living in the region, successful entrepreneurs and politicians were forced to invest in the development of social infrastructure. They built their houses and roads to them, initiated the creation of the hospitality and entertainment industry. Just in order to be able to receive quality medical care, to teach their own children and grandchildren, they had to invest in education and health care. Gradually, by the end of the final decade of the twentieth century, the cities of the region acquire the features of cities, not villages of factories, and regional capitals have the necessary gloss. An economic system is being formed, at the center of which are local interests. Was it modern and effective? Not. She was just regional, fed the region and its inhabitants.

Reduced rate of outflow of the population. If in the first post-Soviet years almost a million people left, then at the turn of the century the annual outflow is already measured in hundreds and thousands. After all, there is work here. If in the middle of 90, according to the mass polls conducted by the Far Eastern Institute of Social and Political Studies with the participation of the author, the willingness to leave marked up to 70% of respondents, by the end of 90 and at the beginning of the “zero” years this indicator decreased to 12-15 %

It seemed that the region "threw off" the excess population, adapted the rest. And, finally, slowly, quickly, such things happen only in fairy tales and government programs, moving from survival to development. But it only seemed. By the middle of the “zero” years, the regional situation changed again. As the desire of the population to look for more hospitable places to stay. But about this my The following essay.
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