“I have been a wagon inspector all my life,” the woman says. – The worst thing was during the war: a train with 200 axles would come, you had to go back and forth, and it was like one railway station in length. Then there was not enough money, I also worked as a loader in a store, and washed the floors. That’s where the power is gone.”
Neighbor Yury helps the veteran carry water. He said that he had repeatedly applied to the Chelyabinsk water utility, but they replied that they would not fix anything for free.
“At MUE “POVV” they told me: “We will not repair until you pay for the repair personally, since the pipe is not on the balance sheet of our water supply,” says Yuri. – Therefore, we travel all over the city, we are looking for columns, the nearest from us is in Kolupaevka, which is 6 kilometers from here. But even there, it happens that everything freezes over – the water does not go.
According to him, houses in Shershnya were built by a local factory in the 60s. After the enterprise went bankrupt, no one serviced or changed the pipeline. It was never transferred to the balance sheet. There are many such abandoned conduits, Yuriy says.
Samolyakova is not the only WWII veteran living in Chelyabinsk. In March 2021, the media wrote about another woman, 93-year-old Tamara Yakovlevna, who has been living without gas since the summer of 2020. It was turned off when the equipment in the entrance did not pass another pressure test, problems were revealed. The gas workers decided that the leak was in an apartment located above the housing of 92-year-old Tamara Yakovlevna. The gas was turned off and they left. Since then, the problems have not been fixed.
At the same time, the Russian authorities continue to tell the population how important it is to honor the memory of the people’s feat in the Great Patriotic War, to care for and help veterans. The Investigative Committee massively initiates a huge number of criminal cases under a new article on the rehabilitation of Nazism, according to this article, those who light up from the Eternal Flame or dry their socks next to it are sent to the colony. Officials who leave veterans without water and gas do not become defendants in cases.
On February 20, 2021, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexei Navalny, was found guilty of defamation of a veteran for a comment on Twitter about a propaganda video advertising amendments to the Constitution. “Here they are, doves. It must be admitted that so far the team of corrupt lackeys looks rather weak. Look at them: this is the shame of the country. People without a conscience. Traitors,” Navalny wrote. One of the participants in the advertisement of the amendments was a veteran.
During the libel trial, many Russian propagandists and officials were outraged by the words of Navalny, who “insulted a veteran.” After this process, Putin introduced new law on imprisonment for insulting veterans. There are no clauses about leaving veterans without water and gas in this law.