Nazran, the former capital of Ingushetia, is recognized by Rosstat as the city with the lowest cost-of-living index in Russia – goods and services here are 25% cheaper than the statistical average. However, the ambiguous “title” hides corruption and poverty, concluded URA.RU journalists, after talking with local residents.
“I don’t even know what the reason is that Rosstat called us the most inexpensive city in the country. Our services and products are quite expensive. In general the whole republic is quite expensive. In North Ossetia the prices are much lower. At the same time we have a very low income of the population,” said a citizen.
The local population is mainly engaged in trade and also lives off social payments from the state, said a resident of Nazran.
“Many people here keep their own small stores, trade at the market. Almost all such trade is not registered in the tax office, and this, too, probably, reduces the cost of production. At the same time, salaries in the city are very low – 10-12 thousand are paid to sales clerks. It is possible to earn more or less decent money at large private enterprises, but the average salary in the city is considered to be 20 thousand rubles. Interestingly, many of the companies pay good salaries to Russian specialists, but the Ingush get much lower wages for similar jobs. The bosses know that the locals have nowhere else to go, and so there is such discrimination. If anyone expresses his dissatisfaction, he’ll be fired immediately,” she says.
According to the woman, various social payments are a great help to the local population.
“Receiving money as large families – the “paternity capital” is common, when money is paid for the third and subsequent children in the family. Many of us receive disability benefits. Incidentally, this is a fairly common phenomenon in Ingushetia as a whole, which appeared at a much higher level than the city administration. It is possible to get a “group” here for a bribe, which many take advantage of, applying for disability even for newborns. Some families in Nazran have five disabled children each, of course they are like that only on paper,” the woman is sure.
Residents of Nazran state that it is not only disability that can be “bought”. In the city, even those who want to get into the army have to pay bribes, and many young people in the country want to go there, said several of our interlocutors.
“Good money in the republic can only be earned in the army or the police. Many people aspire to go there, but it’s difficult for an Ingush to get into the army. For example, my son wanted to do military service. The military enlistment office asked him for 50,000 rubles. But if you’re summoned to military service, but you don’t want to serve, you must pay the same 50,000 rubles. That’s how it is here. If you want to serve, you have to pay, if you don’t want to, you have to pay again. Southerners are not particularly accepted into the army. For example, getting a job in the Russian Federal Guard is worth half a million rubles, but then you can be easily kicked out of there. That’s the business. Even after the army, it’s almost impossible to get there,” said a local resident.
In general, the city, whose center is a few blocks with schools, apartment buildings, and shopping centers, is surrounded by a large share of the private sector. The houses here are good, many of them are under construction and seem to be stuck in that stage for a long time, URA.RU notes.
“Despite the fact that we have a lot of unemployment in our region, almost everyone considers it his duty to build a good house for his family. We are a nation of builders. Our poor people save on everything and build houses with their last money. But, as you can see, even the last money runs out, and houses stand unfinished for years,” says local resident Lyudmila.
At the same time, young people do not want to leave Nazran, but to settle closer to home. The reason is simple – the mentality and strong family traditions.