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Vladivostok and Khabarovsk: one fate, but two different cities
Leonid Blyakher continues to compare the two Far Eastern capitals
Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
So, in the region (and only in the region) two realities arise. One reality is high and, as a rule, distant bosses, who are strongly supported by the local bosses, depending on him. In this reality, plans are being made that are about to cause the flourishing of the region, and with it the whole country. Here astronomical sums are put and spent. Moreover, each time the next high authorities are surprised at the incredibly low efficiency of these investments. In order to increase efficiency, crowds of controllers, controllers behind controllers are sent to the region. They will plunder it. They (we) are the same. Only steal and know how. And they plan distant "experts" hired by the distant authorities. Only now these plans stubbornly do not want to be realized. And if they are implemented, then somehow it is not at all the way it was planned. Let's say we decided to develop "deep processing of wood". The case is necessary. Who would argue. Just do not think that the forest is growing in one place, and the plants are in where the forest has not been for ten years. And there are almost no roads from forest plots to the place of their processing. Forgot to add energy rates here. And they were genuinely surprised that no one wanted to buy any products of this deepest processing.
Such examples can be cited by dozens. The essence is one. It was smooth on paper, but forgot about ravines. Not from evil. Just from ignorance of the distant (and high) authorities and the acute desire of the authorities of the local far-off authorities to please. There is a stronger desire than a desire to make people's lives somehow better. This reality, being born in reports and plans, exists there. It does not reach people. Because for them, "nothing changes."
And people, meanwhile, were compelled to live another reality, which is becoming less and less calculated for the accidental and absurd fact of their existence on this earth. Survived, with nostalgia recalling a period when no one cared about them, but no one banned, did not control every sigh. Somehow, through force, through slingshots, through the mass of bans, the local business that fed people, made their life more comfortable. The business that survived or tried to survive without huge budget spending. Survived on their own initiative and turnover. It was difficult to survive. So difficult that more often the Far Eastern counts of Monte Cristo retrained to the management boards, businessmen became officials, state employees. Instead of "feeding" the region become the dependents of the budget.
While the budget was obese, the situation as a whole suited everyone. In the end, cutting the budget money, getting a good salary, where it is calmer, than every day risking ruin and losses in the sea of free enterprise. The only trouble is that the budget injections, which were supposed, according to the idea of the distant bosses, at least officially stated, to give impetus to the development of local business and local initiative, simply destroyed it. They replaced the business, leaving only its budget imitation.
But as we approach today, the budget flow itself, generously spilled into the region from 2008, began to acquire a somewhat virtual tint. That is, billions seem to be allocated. But they are allotted to something that is not particularly visible in the region. For example, at the cosmodrome, where, under the guidance of visiting engineers, brave builders of great Russia from former Soviet republics work. On the same things that the region desperately needs, money is somehow not very fast and not fully allocated. The amounts that are supposed to be allocated for the development of the region, then grow, then decrease, then grow again. Only fewer are waiting for them in the region. They, like the figures on the display, live their own lives. Salaries, projects and other benefits, generously raining the Far Eastern land, are curtailing. There remains a shock from the inflated expectations, from the uncertainty of the future. After all, budget money as a drug: it's easy to get used to, but without them, "breaking" begins. Increasingly, in conversations with entrepreneurs, I hear "business has become a stake", "people go into cash", "private money flows away." Journalists write more poetically: "The region is frozen in anxious anticipation." People leave, despite all the victorious reports of the leadership.
But the best, the strongest, the most skillful remain. There are endless areas of fertile land and pastures, millions and millions of hectares of forest, water resources, fish and seafood, gold and platinum, iron and mercury. All this is our Far East. There will be a breakdown, budget money will run out. But after all, tens of thousands of inspectors, inspectors, inspectors and other necessary people in the household have run out with them, who have so gaily transformed our life from difficult to unbearable. They go behind the budget and disappear with it.
And without them not at once, but the realization will come that the only way to develop the region is not to cram the money into another megaproject, but simply step by step to equip your house. There will come a realization that it is possible to make the region rich and prosperous, but only if the Far East is engaged in this. Slowly. Raspachut lands that are empty. Collect the usual, higher than the average for Russia, the harvest of grain and soy. There, where plowing does not give returns, in the Far East fabulous, fragrant cucumbers and tomatoes, friable potatoes and sharp Far Eastern onion grow. According to the simplest calculations, the region itself, without importation is able to feed up to 18 million people. We are less. So, there is something to export.
Succulent grasses in the meadows have traditionally been the basis for far-eastern animal husbandry. And on the basis of our own agricultural raw materials, shops and plants for its processing will naturally arise. They just do not need to interfere. Forests will turn into unique building and interior materials, fish and fish processing products will again become the basis of life for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people in the region. And the mining complex and its development will only add gloss to a prosperous region. Roads will not be built because of the budget and plan, but because people need to drive on them. For themselves and will build. Not in time, but for centuries. Where the funds are not enough, the neighbors will add. So the trains will run along the Trans-Siberian Railway, to which the entire transport system of Northeast Asia naturally stretches. Steamers will sail along the Northern Sea Route, which will become more convenient with each pass. After all, they will not be "steered" by temporary workers appointed from capitals, but by people who are focused on ensuring that they and their children live here.
And then the Far Eastern capitals will find their final and key meaning. Moreover, the meaning is different, as are the capitals themselves. After all, those goods that will give generous Far Eastern land, you need to sell. Something will be consumed in the region itself. You will not believe, but we also eat bread. But much will go to export. And it is more convenient to trade where there are good transport routes and storage facilities, hotels and conference rooms. Recently, passing through the endless corridors and halls of a new university campus on Russky Island, I could not help feeling that this fabulous, really beautiful building for the university is not very convenient. This is approximately how to transfer St. Petersburg University to Kronstadt. But it would be fantastically convenient for the international trading exchange, where contracts for the supply of timber and fish, ore and diamonds, grains and metals would be sold. Where the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and representatives of two dozen nations will invest money in the economy of the Far East, in our prosperity. Vladivostok is an ideal place for organizing the entry of the region into international trade, in order not to enter into it as modest petitioners, but to draw it to ourselves, to make it play by our rules.
Traditionally, Khabarovsk has a different role. He is a political capital. It is the city through which the Far East joins the rest of Russia. True, there is still a place to trade here. Trade with China. After all, the bridge to the big Ussuriysk can become that branch that will draw North China into the space of the Transsib, connect and strengthen the border economy on both sides of the Amur. And the rich and strong Far Eastern region will make the development of the whole country a locomotive. And then, for all the difference between Khabarovsk and Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk and Blagoveshchensk, they all have a lot in common. All of them will be the centers of a rich, prosperous and confident in their tomorrow of the region.
This is not a fairy tale. This is reality. It is necessary only to cut off from it something extra that hinders. Senseless bans and even more meaningless hyper-regulation, unprofessional management and not knowledge of the region. You just have to work on this future. And, in one beautiful, not very distant moment, it, like the image in the photo, suddenly appears, becomes visible and tangible, will become our future.