Gleb Tyurin /
Appeal To President Putin







Supplement 1


Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,

I have the honour to write to you on behalf of the members of the 
Association for the revival of villages in the Arkhangelsk Region, 
on behalf of thousands of village people  who are practically  
involved into the processes of revival of their native land, of 
development of local self-government on their villages' level.  

The last year of 2003 has been very important for all of us. First, 
it was the year when a federal law  "On general principles of 
organizing  local self-government"  was adopted and thus year of a 
substantial growth of the local self-government in Russia. Important 
also was your Letter to the Federal Council in 2003 where you 
formulated completely new approaches to the development. 

Introduction of projecting  so that great-scale projects might bring
serious step-by-step achievements, help develop stable democracy,
overcome economic inefficiency and poverty.
'''Double overall national output'''. The document have become our 
benchmarks  as well as the ideas  you expressed when you spoke at 
the jubilee session of the  Congress of Municipal Institutions, 
mainly the idea  that our goal should be involving the population in 
solving local problems and promoting its activity.   

We think that working in these directions we have managed to 
achieve  some notable results. We would be happy to share these 
results with you and ask some questions connected with the Russian 
rural areas development, as well as to appeal for your help.
For several years we have been working on developing villages, on 
overcoming poverty, on introducing small-scale businesses to support 
stable democracy in the far-away regions.

Non-blackearth zone villages is the most problematic area of the 
country, it is in the critical situation. Many of them ceased to be 
in the sphere of real economy, and have returned to  the subsistence 
economy. Hopelessness and alcoholism are overwhelming. The 
population here is reduced to poverty, its number diminishes. 
Villages are dying away. It is impossible to predict the results of 
all these circumstances because  villages are not just producers of 
food - they are places where nation is born and nurtured. Without 
them national reproduction is impossible on the vast territory of our country.  

This is why we need serious large-scale projects supported by the 
state, only they can make the situation change.

Our experience shows that a very effective method of opposing the 
crisis is developing the  local communities' self-management, 
organizing and careful raising of able local communities.   
It is impossible to keep the area alive with administrative
 directives "from above" only, such approach  requires huge 
investments. Many of the rural municipalities have small budgets and
 each year they have to close something or cut financial support 
 of  some vital  institutions thus excluding  a great volume of 
resources from economy, from production  of national  output, they 
are wasted and squandered. It happens everywhere and the population 
is passively waits for any decisions and help from the authorities 

On the contrary the situation changes crucially when some villages 
manages to revive a local community which begins to treat the 
problems facing their village  as their own problems and can solve 
them, when  a village management is given to the local community 
(to be precise we must speak here of co-management of the local 
community (of a territorial organ of self-management) and of the 
municipality, of their constant cooperation and dialogue).  

Such cooperation makes a managerial model which does not require 
investments but aims at finding cheap resources and effective  
solutions because people understand they themselves will put them 
into practice. If their corporate work is supported by  professional 
advisers who care for the local community and is backed with small
 social investments, it will result in a very high effectiveness, 
will repay the money, save budget  sources, because  local community 
being a self-organized system has got a synergetic effect. 

These are very complicated tasks  but our experience shows  that it
 is possible to fulfil them  in today's Russia. 

Several years of our work in the Arkhangelsk have  resulted in 
appearing of several dozens  initiative groups, more than thirty of 
them have been given a legal status of a Territorial Organ of 
Self-Management. People in far-away villages who had seemingly no 
hopes for future started to believe in themselves, they united their 
efforts to overcome apathy and despondency and undertake some 
practical steps to change life in their native villages.

More than 50 village development projects have been realized. They
 helped to solve the problems of water supply, bridge constructions, 
river crossing places arrangement,  houses movement and 
reconstruction, they helped to save  village infrastructure (first 
medical aid posts, clubs, museums, small market places, sports 
grounds, workshops, local cultural centres etc.), some resulted in
 opening new small businesses ( like a package apiary or a new breed 
sheep-hold), in solving  ecological problems of the area (like river 
cleaning, forest planting), some made it possible to arrange  care 
of the elder villagers, of the cultural heritage, of local 

The economic effect  is worth tens millions roubles while the sum 
invested was a million and a half. It turns out  it is possible to 
restore a unique 18th century  bell tower  with the villagers' own 
hands having received some thousands roubles, to build a bridge or
  a water tower or a huge house, to redesign the heating system, to 
make a river crossing place and to do many other things on their 
own. Humane and social effect is also huge - people's activity, 
their faith in future in in themselves are being restored, and as a 
result our villages are revived. 

We try to rely on the  time-honored traditions and values of the 
Russian peasants as well as on modern technologies which enables us 
to restore a positive self0identity of the community, to change the 
situation and peoples relationships crucially and in a short period 
of time. These techniques which are so fruitful are very easy to be 
dissimulated through other territories and regions of the country

We would be happy if our experience might be used for territorial 
self-management development, for making life easier and better for
  people in other Russian villages. Like you we  believe that Russia 
is not doomed to aimlessly exist in future, that our people have 
talents and goodwill to make their own life happier. If they are 
helped. We do hope to have your support  in future developing  of 
the Russian far-away areas, in realization of a new project  aimed 
at  making the village life quality better which might  produce a 
serious impact  on the development of this sphere. 

Tyurin Gleb Vladimirovich,
President of  Association of the Village Revival of the Arkhangelsk Region,  
Director of Institute of Social and Humanitarian Initiatives.