Russian Babushka Winters in Car After Home Destroyed

A 70-year-old woman had to spend the winter in an unheated garage after her house was destroyed last May by two live artillery shells flung from an exploding arms depot in Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan, reported on Wednesday.

“I lived in the garage for a year. In the winter I lived in the car, because the house is destroyed. I hope I will not have to undergo that ordeal next winter,” quoted Valentina Serova as saying.

The military arsenal was rocked by a series of ammunition explosions in late May, prompting the evacuation of nearby residents, particularly in the village of Urman, where the woman lived.

Serova and her grandson were thrown back by the blast but both survived. Her mother, who was also in the house, disappeared in the explosion and has never been found.

After the accident, which left scores of people homeless, local authorities allocated those who lost their homes 5,000 rubles (some $160), a bagful of flour, a bagful of sugar and a promise of new housing.

Village residents planned to block a local federal highway today to protest the sluggishness of the authorities in providing new housing. The head of the village administration, Rafael Kalkamanov, announced his resignation earlier today after a heated discussion with residents.


Leave a comment