Maybe Russia could broaden the land giveaway to include its rural villages, which are literally dying out.
Rapid urbanisation and industrial farming has led to a catastrophic situation in Russia's poverty-stricken hinterlands.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/featur ... 12286.html
Zharki village, Russia - Antonina Nikolaeva thinks her village needs no public school or even a store.
"Only old people are left here. And what do we, old people, do? We die," the grey-eyed, portly 75-year-old widow said, standing in the doorway of her unpainted wooden house made of entire logs.
The home was built years before Nikolaeva's birth, when dozens of collective farmers populated this village in the Pskov region, which lies 600km west of Moscow.
These days only eight people live in Zharki, one of Russia's dying villages that have become painfully ubiquitous throughout Russia. While President Vladimir Putin flexes the Kremlin's military and political muscles in Syria and Ukraine, his own nation's countryside - a backbone of Russia's national identity, culture, and demographics for centuries - is dying, slowly and inevitably.
Although rapid urbanisation and industrial farming depopulate rural areas from China to Canada, the situation in Russia is especially catastrophic. Almost 36,000 villages, or one in four, have 10 residents or fewer. Another 20,000 are abandoned, according to Russia's latest nationwide census conducted in 2010.
Fewer than a quarter of Russians live in rural areas these days - three times fewer than 120 years ago, according to the only tsarist-era census done in 1897.