The Russian Review/Volume 1/February 1916/News from Russia
News from Russia.
The number of war refugees from the Western provinces of Russia, which were evacuated before being occupied by the enemy, has not yet been accurately determined. It is interesting to note that the number of refugees that passed through the city of Tomsk, on their way to different parts of Siberia, is 163,000.
The Ministry of Finance expects that during the current year the revenues yielded by direct taxation will be increased by 274,600,000 roubles.
At a recent meeting of the Zemstvo Assembly at the city of Kostroma, the following resolution was adopted: "The heaviest burden of this terrible war has fallen upon the Polish, Lettish, Jewish, Lithuanian and Armenian population of the country, which is suffering both material and cultural losses. The Kostroma Zemstvo Assembly extends its sincere sympathy to these nationalities and hopes that after the war the government will indemnify the stricken population of these provinces not only for their economic losses, but also by assisting them to rebuild their social and spiritual life, in the form of educational and other local institutions, community buildings, etc."
Resolutions of quite different character were adopted by a congress of representatives of the ultra-reactionary organizations of Russia, which met at Nizhni-Novgorod, under the leadership of Dr. Dubrovin, editor of the Petrograd "Russian Banner", and a redoutable advocate of reactionary tendencies. The resolutions read in part: "To indict for treason every member of the progressive bloc in the Douma; to abolish all military-industrial committees; to subject all Federations of Municipal and District Councils to closer supervision; to abolish cooperation between teachers and parents in the schools by discontinuing the system of 'Parents' Committees'; to introduce military training in all schools; to deprive universities of their autonomy."
During the last eighteen months, the city of Minusinsk, in Siberia, had three newspapers, each of which was, in turn, discontinued by the municipal authorities.
The Russian Minister of the Interior, A. N. Chvostov, has recently declared himself in favor of inaugurating a fight against the "yellow press", which has grown considerably during recent years. Not long ago, some of these newspapers were involved in "society scandals", their part in them being exposed by rather sensational trials. Mr. Chvostov's Ministry has under consideration a plan for exiling from Petrograd the journalists who were connected with the newspapers involved in the scandals.
Several members of the Douma and the Council of the Empire, representing the different sections of Siberia, have organized a special "Siberian Bureau", for the purpose of inducing American capitalists to become interested in an industrial development of Siberia. This vast territory is one of the richest parts of the earth in natural resources. But it is very sparsely settled, and its enormous wealth is practically untouched. The Bureau is especially interested in encouraging Americans to invest in railroad construction, iron and gold extracting industries, construction of refrigerating plants, ware-houses, grain-elevators, etc. It is interesting to note that the Lena Gold Mining Company, the largest in Siberia and one of the largest of its kind in the world, is controlled by English capital.
The Municipal Council of Samara, the birth-place of the late Michael Tchelyshev, the noted champion of prohibition, partly through whose efforts temperance was introduced in Russia, has petitioned the Ministry of the Interior for permission to erect a monument to Tchelyshev.
The former Procurator of the Holy Synod, Sabler, has received permission to change his German name to Desiatovky, winch was the maiden name of his wife.
The Procurator of the First Department of the Senate has issued permission to a group of Senators to organize a Cooperative Consumers' League. Almost all of the Senators have become members of the League, which, however, could not be organized without the permission of the Procurator.
The Municipal Council of Saratov has petitioned the Government for a subsidy of 650,000 roubles for the purpose of establishing a municipal bakery and inaugurating other means of combating the high cost of living.
Several "governments," particularly that of Smolensk, experience a shortage of salt. In some parts of the government salt is selling at ten copecks a pound, which is about ten times more than the ordinary price.
It is estimated that the amount of coal mined during the current year in the different parts of Russia will be 29,520,000 tons, of which 9,770,000 tons will be anthracite.