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23 Nov. 2022

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To the evil of propaganda: how the cities of Ukraine and russia look and how they live

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To the evil of propaganda: how the cities of Ukraine and russia look and how they live

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In international ratings of the standard of living, russia quite often took higher positions than Ukraine. However, the fact that studies usually take a national average hides a big difference between the standard of living in the capital region of russia and in its remote areas.


In fact, Ukraine has never been inferior to russia in terms of living standards as much as the russians would like. For example, the average salary in Ukraine as of 2021 was $550, in russia - $750. This is less by only 30% and without taking into account the purchasing power, because the level of prices in russia is several times higher than in Ukraine.


Another interesting fact is that, for example, the highest level of wages in russia is in the Chukotka Autonomous District - $1,400, the second step is occupied by Moscow and St. Petersburg - about $1,000 per month, in the rest of the regions this figure does not exceed $500. In Ukraine, as a whole, such high stratification is not observed across regions. The average salary in Kyiv is $750, in other regions it is about $500.


We decided to show you and compare the standard of living in Ukraine and russia using the example of six cities, which were grouped into three categories depending on the population.


Millionaire cities: Odesa vs. Omsk


Odesa ranks first in Ukraine in terms of residents' loyalty, only 20% of citizens would like to leave the city. Odessa's advantages include: proximity to the Black Sea, climate, high level of culture and business development. Ukrainians note that it is in Odessa that you can often meet smiling people, because it is also the capital of humor.


The average salary in the city is $500-$600 per month. Conferences, forums and other specialized events are regularly held in Odessa. The city also has good investment attractiveness.


The level of comfort in Odessa should not be neglected. There are 10 beaches, almost 30 parks and squares, more than 100 fitness clubs and gyms, a lot of other entertainment for residents, such as water parks, rafting, and a dolphinarium. There are also many museums, exhibitions, and theaters. Most Odessans prefer a healthy lifestyle, which is facilitated by natural products and the "Health Route" walking route along the sea.


So, Odesa is culture, business, tourism, sports and recreation. The city is developing every day, and its population is constantly increasing.


More than 39% of Omsk residents want to leave the city. In 2021, the Omsk region ranked 1st in Russia in terms of the number of people who left their native region, although it ranks in the middle in terms of living standards in Russia.


The climate in the city is quite harsh. In summer, the temperature reaches +40°C, in winter -40°C, this is due to the distance from the sea.


The ecological situation in Omsk leaves much to be desired. Most of the high-tech factories have closed down, but polluting enterprises are operating at full capacity. Most of the city's residents work in trade and service. The average salary in the city is $450-500 per month.


According to the level of social conflict, Omsk is among the 5 worst cities in russia. The city has a very high level of drug addiction, especially among young people. The probability of finding a student in the city who has not tried drugs is close to zero. The topic of Omsk and drugs is very popular in the russian segment of the Internet. The city also has a high level of alcoholism and crime.


Instead, Omsk is considered the largest historical and cultural center of Trans-Urals and the theater capital of provincial russia. However, it is worth noting that, unfortunately, not all residents of the city like to visit theaters and museums. One of the favorite places of Omsk residents is "Arena-Omsk", a hockey stadium on the left bank. The local hockey team Avangard is a business card of the city. It is a generally accepted fact that hockey is not loved anywhere in russia as much as in Omsk.


Average by the number of city residents: Vinnytsia vs. Tver


Vinnytsia is one of the leaders among Ukrainian cities in terms of comfort and safety. 41% of Vinnytsia residents say that they feel completely safe when walking around the city at night, even if it is an area far from the center. And 59% of citizens are sure that their city is quite modern and successfully uses technological innovations. Vinnytsia has a well-developed cycling infrastructure and, in fact, the best public transport in Ukraine.


Another advantage of Vinnytsia is that they try to equip not only the city center, but also remote areas: infrastructure, transport, road surface, alleys and recreation areas at a fairly high level.


At the same time, 74% of Vinnytsia residents support the vector of the city's development. The new Development Strategy was adopted in 2021 for ten years. The main emphasis is on the city becoming a "magnet", making a breakthrough in development and becoming competitive at the national and regional levels. That is, the local government is interested in the development of the region, and the population takes an active part in it.


Tver took 39th place in the ranking of russian cities in terms of quality of life in 2021. The city received the lowest points for the assessment of the standard of living and the work of housing and communal services. Often, residents of buildings have to deal with sewage that does not work and untimely garbage removal. The situation in the city with roads is quite difficult. The road surface is being renewed, but it is not enough. After all, there are broken sidewalks, potholes, and a lack of asphalt everywhere. It can be difficult to get to suburban villages, as there are no normal roads or transport. The city also has an average level of social conflict. More than 25% of the city's residents want to leave it.


Small cities: Ternopil vs. Ivanovo


In 2021, Ternopil topped the comfort rating of Ukrainian cities. Such traditional criteria as economic and ecological indicators, as well as the subjective perception of the residents of their cities, were taken into account. In 2020, 2021, most of the roads were repaired, sidewalks, bicycle paths and lighting were installed in the city as part of the "Major construction" program. The Water Arena was also built in the city, it is of great importance for citizens, because since 1987 Ternopil has hosted international water competitions. Ternopil also has a high level of culture: exhibitions, theaters, places of interest.


The advantages of the city include a low crime rate and good ecology. In Ternopil, the cost of the consumer basket is the lowest in Ukraine.


Ivanovo is famous for its textile industry. In terms of ecology, the city ranks 19th in russia, which is quite a good result. There are several beautiful rivers in Ivanovo Oblast, such as the Volga, on which residents like to fish.

Like any small russian city, Ivanovo has many problems in the field of public housing and transportation. Some time ago there were trams in Ivanovo, but then they were canceled due to lack of profitability. There is no place to ride a bicycle in Ivanovo. There are only two bike lanes, and even then they are very inconvenient. Parks are also not well maintained.


Therefore, most cities in russia have such major problems as the poor level of infrastructure development, housing and public housing systems, and roads. The population is also characterized by a high level of social conflict.


On the other hand, infrastructure has been actively developing in Ukraine in recent years, many international projects are being implemented in cities. Ukrainians strive for development and a higher standard of living, because they love their cities and Ukraine as a whole.


Also, one of the important factors for assessing the quality of life is the level of happiness. At the beginning of 2022, 70% of Ukrainians felt happy, another 13% were partially happy. On the other hand, in the same period, only 37% of russian citizens called themselves unquestionably happy, and another 46% were rather happy.



Main photo: Ilya Varlamov