One Snowy Day in Moscow

traffic jam in Moscow, Russia 1

Yesterday it was a very snowy day in Moscow. Tons of snow have fallen down in one day and the big city got jammed. Those who have been in Moscow are aware that there are a lot of problems with traffic even in the regular days, and this surprise from mother nature just made it much worse. They said in the news that if to sum up the length of all the traffic jams that happened that day in Moscow it would be a traffic jam of 300 miles highway length.

traffic jam in Moscow, Russia 2

traffic jam in Moscow, Russia 3

traffic jam in Moscow, Russia 4

traffic jam in Moscow, Russia 5

Not only wide streets of Moscow were jammed. In small driveways in the residential areas there were a lot of crashes like this one where five cars got in the row. Road police reported two thousand crashes this day:

three cars crashed in Moscow 1

three cars crashed in Moscow 2

three cars crashed in Moscow 3

three cars crashed in Moscow 4

And many people decided not to take their cars but to go to the subway. So Moscow subway got jammed too with hundred thousands of people:

Moscow subway in Russia 1

Moscow subway in Russia 2

40 thoughts on “One Snowy Day in Moscow”

    • I agree. Unfortunately if you don’t show up at work you will not be paid [sick or not] and if it lasts a bit more than a few days your job is in jeopardy.

      Living in Moscow on a average salary you need every ruble to make ends meet [prices for basic things like food have increased tremendously this year – but not the salaries].

      So, get up early, and prepare for the daily 2-hour trip to the office [public transport] or longer [driving a car]. Ans then in the evening you have to go back, too..!

      No, this is not a pleasant season.

        • His claims are completely correct. Many people don’t realize that the wage of almost every job position in Russia is very low (including those of professionals) and that the prices of food/clothing/electronics/etc. are exorbitant (and growing every year). And some laws are even making it worse-for example, they are now prohibiting the sale of products outside-it deprives the seller of the job (growing/selling crops) and forces consumers to shop at expensive stores. I honestly don’t understand how the average person lives there right now!

            • No.

              Another gross fact: every employee has a ‘passport’ with his/her employment history. This ‘passport’ is handed over to the HR-office or simply his boss when he /she starts the job and kept in the archive. Without this paper you cannot apply or sign-up for another job and will not be accepted for an interview for another job – a potential employer wants to know all your career-details and will not believe your word [it’s Russia – only papers with stamps are trusted].

              This means that you’re stuck with your current employer until he/she kicks you out [which can happen overnight – there is no employee protection in Russia]. An employee has NO rights in Russia. [working class paradise ??? LOL !]

              Competitive offers/calculations are usually paid for for by cutting the employees wages – NOT by accepting a lower profit margin. And applying for another job is hardly an option – your employer can easily block your ‘ambitions’ and [by not returning your ‘career-pasport’] basically block your career.

              Better go to work.

              There still has a lot to change in Russia.

              • Max, where did you get all this BS about “employment passport”?
                If translated literally it is called a labour book.
                You can apply for another job or go for an interview without presenting your labour book. My colleague recently relocated from St.Pet. to Moscow – he got a job offer (Euro 3.5K a month) after an interview over the phone.

                If you quit the job your employer MUST give your labour book to you. He has no reason doing otherwise. The only bad thing he can do is to write something bad in it – e.g. “fired due to lack of discipline or bad qualification”. In that case you can go to court and the employer has to prove the case. In 99 cases out of 100 he will fail. In general, Russian labour code and courts are very pro-employee. In theory it is very difficult to fire a person. For instance if an employee is pregnant woman, she can do whatever she wants – the law explicitly forbids firing her regardless of circumstances. Practice is a bit different – mainly because people don’t know laws or don’t trust courts or just don’t bother. But in any case the reality is way different from the picture you have painted.

                • Indeed, labour book. Mistranslation on my side.
                  For the rest, in theory you’re right. In reality, I’m afraid not.
                  If the employer states a reason why he can’t return the labour book straight away you’ll have to prove this reason is not relevant. Etc, etc. It can last for a long time, during which YOU are having the problems and the other party is laughing at you. Money rules in Russia, also here. My mother-in-law is forced to work with this nasty glass-wool insulating stuff – very harmful for your lungs. She’s not given any protective clothing. She’s over 65 years old. If she complains, she’ll be kicked out [this was told to her face – she’s been working there for many many years already] and has to live solely on her pension [approx. 200 $ p/month]. Her salary has been reduced several times the past years. The company [an upholstering business] has to make it’s margin. You get the picture ? This is reality.

                  Have you ever tried filing a lawsuit in Russia ? I have. I’m still in the middle of it. A simple case : a signed and verified contract between 2 parties was broken because without any legal reason [except pure greed] the other party wanted more money [a LOT of money]. A deal is a deal so I wanted him to stick to the contract – I was laughed at in my face. So I went to court. All evidence was clear – I even had a video recording of the actual signing of the contract. The other party couldn’t even make clear what legal reason they had to break the deal.

                  To put it short, a case so simple that everybody would expect the court to deal with it in one hearing.
                  So far it’s more than a year now and it’s almost like I’m the crook. Bribes might be involved, who knows. It’s the only country I know of where they can simply refuse to deal with your lawsuit. And it’s quite expensive for an average person – an average Russian citizen doesn’t make 3,5 K p/month as you are probably aware of. 1000 $ is already considered a GOOD income. This is also the price for a city-court lawsuit.

            • You are right, organizing is very difficult. But if what Premas says is true, Russian labor law may be supportive or at least neutral to unions and professional associations. Some employees at the Ford assembly plant in Vsevolozhsk are union and are in the process of negotiating a new agreement with management. Sometimes just the existence of independent trade unions is enough to promote better conditions for employees in other sectors of the economy.

              • I wish Alexey Etmanov and his negotiating committee all the best. I also hope that they have weighed all options and possible consequences. A strike is an action of last resort for the union and does not rest lightly on union leaders or the membership. I hope that the union and company can come to the bargaining table and work out a fair and equitable agreement.

  1. about the tube – not quite true. there was a problem with a track on one of the lines hence such crowds. not that everyone decided to go by public transport. muscovites don’t abandon their cars because of a bit of snow 🙂

  2. If you notice the 4 aerial pictures are the same place/time as the video posted a while ago about the police sliding down the ice.

    Chris B. Lincoln NE USA

  3. Look in second photo. See tanker-truck inside tunnel, with yellow light on top? I was riding in this truck. Putin refused to send limo to airport for me again, and I catch the ride to hotel with nice man in truck, who only charge me 1500 ruble.

    Why do I get no respect? Maybe, if I had the big, big nuclear missile. . . .

      • Columbia University president was not very nice man to me. In Iran he would not dare to say such things. We would have the special reception for him, but it would not be the one with tea and pastries.

        I believe this misunderstanding in New York was because propaganda from western imperialists is very bad about me. Those westerners . . . always with their “democracy” and “freedom” so they can be free to talk bad and ridicule their leaders who only have best plan for eveyone to be happy.

        How democracy and freedom help my friends in Russia? See this crazy traffic in Moscow? My plan is better.

        • Mr. Bollinger had a lot of gall to stand there and chastise Iran. But perhaps he will accept your invitation to speak at an Iranian university. It would be most interesting.

  4. In russia you get paid if you make children – the population is dropping at an alarming rate due to immigration but in particular because most can’t afford to have more than one child due to low wages and poor housing conditions.

    Also fertility problems are a known problem. Generations of bad living conditions, drinking, smoking, stress… all ask their toll.

  5. Last night we were speaking to our friend and she was saying the traffic was awful yesterday in Moskva and now I can see it too. Great photos! I miss the Russian winter!

  6. Don’t they ever sand or salt the roads? It appears that this is not done. Aren’t motorists warned about these snowfalls so they can make other transportation plans? BTW, the second frame looks like the 401 in Toronto…

  7. Two years ago, there was a terrible snowstorm here in Chicago. I left for work straight from class (I got done at 2:30 that day, and I had to be at work at 4:30, I think), and I was still late. What takes about 35 minutes usually took me close to three hours. My dad had it much worse-it took him six hours to get home from work (it was usually an hour commute one way for him).The salt trucks and snow plows were out early since they knew it was coming, so that wasn’t the issue.


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