Smolensk official hinted at referendum to join Belarus
13:40, — Politics
In Smolensk region they are expecting Belarusians as saviors.
In many agricultural areas the land is overgrowing with weed, since there is no one to cultivate it, Radio Svaboda reports.
Russia. Smolensk region. Monastyrshchynsk district. Behind us there is Belarusian Mscislauje. Wherever you look – there is wealth of field, huge areas of burnt weed and birch trees growing firm into the lands uncultivated for very long. The rare settlements are abandoned.
In the village of Vainino people were found at the construction site of an estate. It is being built for a businessman from Saint-Petersburg. He is a local. He rarely visits the native places in order to check up on the course of the construction works. The residents of the neighboring villages, who were hired by the businessman, approve of the statement of Smolensk governor Alexey Ostrovskiy.
“There is no one to sow, - one of the villagers explains. – Our collective farm has recently sold the last piece of equipment. Now there are neither workers, nor machinery. There is nothing”.
The interlocutors recollect that at some point the now abandoned lands were cultivated by the Lubotskiy collective farm. After unsuccessful attempts to change the pattern of ownership the farm went bankrupt.
“Our former collective farm was the largest in the area in terms of arable lands – 5 thousand hectares. Flax alone would take up to 500 hectares. Potatoes brought good harvests. For the recent five years the farm has not sown even a grain, even a hundred square meters of land”, - a peasant from Russia tells of the farm’s fate.
The villagers said goodbye suggesting that Belarusian farmers seriously took the statement of the head of the Russian region and took the lands in Smolensk region more daringly. “It will be profitable, do not doubt”, - they tried to persuade.
On the road again. The same burnt landscape with birch trees all around. The village of Lubavichy. Twenty five kilometers from the border with Belarus. The large settlement meets with small cultivated pieces of land next to houses. Some of them have old agricultural equipment. The local villagers also read the statement of the governor Ostrovskiy.
“If our Russians cannot cultivate it, anyone should”, - a resident of Lubavichy reacts with desperation to the governor’s statement.
In her opinion, there is no way for the locals to survive without external assistance: “It is painful to look at: you go and see how everything gets abandoned. It is a nightmare. People should work, so our lands do not get overgrown with weed”. “Otherwise, we will go under”, - she adds. “Everyone left the village. There is no one here, - the interlocutor continues. – When I go to Mscislauje and reach the border, I can immediately see that I arrive into a different country. Here there are weeds, bushes and garbage by the road everywhere. God, if only anyone paid attention to that”.
Every villager, met in Lubavichy, assured that they would not object for Belarusians to take the land at the border of Belarus and Russia. Such a decline like the one in their village is everywhere in Smolensk region, they said.
“Only those farms hold on that are not far from more or less big cities of the region”, - the villagers explain.
The head of the local village administration Viktor Khudoshchevskiy pointed out that Belarusians already tried to rent the land here. At some point a year ago, he recollected, entrepreneurs from Shklou district decided to rent two and a half thousand hectares. They took a look, said “it is okay” – and no one so them in Lubavichy ever since.
The head of the administration recollects with regret that the cooperation with Belarusians did not work then, and waits for more pragmatic Belarusian farmers to come along: “I will give you the best lands. If any assistance on my part is needed, I will stand by your side”.
The head of the village administration claims that he already frightened the superiors with a referendum on joining Belarus in the villages of the bankrupt collective farm, unless the officials fixed the situation in the agriculture.
“I said that I would hold a referendum like in Crimea, - he said. – I spoke seriously with the superiors in the region. Our settlement used to belong to Mahilou region. It was Mscislauje district here. Our territory belonged to Belarus”.
Asked whether the locals favor our country, Viktor Khudoshchevskiy claims positive with no hesitation.
“They support Belarus with all their arms and legs. You do well selling grain to Russians. You can see that nothing is sown or ploughed here. Everything is abandoned. The farm has fallen into pieces. Nothing is left. There is no equipment. Everything was sold. Our leadership does not properly understand anything in agriculture”.
We would remind that last month the governor of Smolensk region Alexey Ostrovskiy suggested to give a part of the lands in the districts adjacent to Belarus to Belarusian agrarians to use.
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