All money went to war: heating systems in Russian cities are failing en masse, locals are building bonfires to warm themselves. Photos
In a number of Russian cities, residents of certain districts were left without heating in the winter. Problems were observed in Yekaterinburg, Penza, Elektrostal, Podolsk, Dmitrov, Beloozersk, Solnechnogorsk, Shchelkovo, Voskresensk, Khimki, Lyubertsy, Nakhodka... and this list is not complete.
In Penza, on January 9, at least 43 apartment buildings, a hospital, and four administrative buildings were left without centralized heating, according to Russian media. The accident affected Kommunisticheskaya, Pugachev, Dzerzhinsky, and Voroshilov streets. Russians cried on social media that there was no heat and no hot water.
The reason was an accident on the main pipeline. The prosecutor's office is conducting an investigation.
In Elektrostal, Moscow Region, problems with heating began from the very beginning of the heating season, the city administration admitted. They explained that the Vostochnaya boiler house periodically went out of the temperature schedule, "which does not allow supplying the consumers of the Eastern District of Elektrostal with heating and hot water of proper quality."
The reason was blamed on the wear and tear of the heating networks. One-fifth of the pipes have exhausted their service life by 100%, and the rest by 75%. To replace them, 600 million rubles are needed, the city authorities said. "Therefore, it is impossible to replace all heating networks at the same time, both financially and technically," the press service explained.
Residents of the Eastern District recorded videos with complaints in despair. People were lighting bonfires in the yards of high-rise buildings to keep warm. One of the pickets was held right next to the fire.
"The temperature in the apartments is from 8 to 16 degrees Celsius in different buildings, the temperature does not correspond to the proper one. It is impossible to stay in the houses! We are freezing!" the Russians said.
Residents of Beloozersk near Moscow are also suffering from the deterioration of the housing and communal services: a local group posted a video with the words, "SOS! We are freezing".
"The Moscow region continues to freeze, the housing and utilities system has collapsed," wrote one of the Russian Telegram channels.
In Dmitrov, Moscow Region, the Cosmonauts neighborhood was affected by the cold. The boiler room, which was being repaired in the summer of 2023, suddenly broke down. It was cold not only in the apartments of at least 29 houses but also in the school and kindergarten.
"Today, at about 1:45 a.m., we heard water rushing through the radiators, and then for an hour there was a noise in the pipes. Apparently, they were draining the water. Then everything quieted down, and by morning all the radiators were cold. We called the boiler room. They said that it was over: the boiler room was shut down," locals wrote online.
In Podolsk, after the accident on the heating main of the cartridge factory (it happened on January 4), a local emergency was introduced due to the lack of heating in the northeastern part of the Klimovsk neighborhood.
Volunteers began delivering blankets and heaters to people. The local authorities boasted that the freezing residents received 1,100 blankets, 4,000 duvets, 85 food packages and more than 3,000 heaters.
The frost broke radiators in some homes.
The cartridge factory in Podolsk, which left 20,000 people without heat, has been run by Igor Kushnikov, a former FSB officer, for the past year and a half. Before him was Igor Rudik, a former bodyguard of dictator Vladimir Putin.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kushnikov was accused of leading the Golyanovskaya organized crime group. Agency writes that this organized criminal group was responsible for more than 40 murders. At the same time, Kushnikov worked in the FSB, where he rose to the rank of colonel. He was eventually found guilty, but only of one episode of abuse of power, and was released from punishment due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Prior to Kushnikov, the plant was headed for a year by Igor Rudika, a former FSB Alpha fighter and FTS officer. According to media reports, Rudika was regularly seen among Putin's bodyguards from at least 2017 to 2019.
After the scandal, Putin ordered the nationalization of the Klimovka Specialized Cartridge Plant. It will most likely be given to the Rostec state corporation. On January 9, Russia's Investigative Committee announced the detention of the plant's general director, without naming him. The head of the boiler house and the deputy head of the Podolsk administration were also detained.
People complained about the cold in a sanatorium in Solnechnogorsk, Moscow region. This institution treats occupants who have returned from the "SMO", an aggressive unprovoked war against Ukraine.
In the city of Shchelkovo, Moscow region, where the Chkalovsky airfield is located, families of Russian military pilots were staying in cold houses. The VCHK-ODPU Telegram channel stated that the temperature at home was only 13 degrees Celsius.
Residents of Voskresensk near Moscow recorded a video complaint about the lack of heating. It was addressed to Putin, among others.
A similar situation is also observed in Khimki and Lyubertsy in the Moscow region.
In addition, a utility failure occurred in Yekaterinburg: 324 residential high-rise buildings in the Chkalovsky district were left without heating.
In the Sverdlovsk village of Kliuchevsk, it took two days to find the breakthrough, and residents were offered to move to a children's camp.
In Primorye, a burst at a boiler house in the city of Nakhodka left 6,000 people - 88 apartment buildings and four institutions for minors - freezing. The accident at boiler house No. 2.8 occurred on January 9. As a result, heat supply to high-rise buildings on Verkhne-Morskaya, Gagarin, Nakhodkinsky Prospekt, Lermontov, Goncharov, and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya streets was cut off.
Earlier, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained the heating failures by "abnormal frosts" and deterioration of the housing and utilities sector. "Titanic efforts are being made to upgrade the housing and utilities systems, but it is impossible to upgrade all the pipes in 10-15 years," he said.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Russian pilots at the Millerovo airfield (Rostov region, Russia) complained that they were freezing due to low air temperatures and asked for firewood to heat their stoves. The invaders also asked to buy them an ordinary car battery.