RASSVET, Russia -- Inhabitants of the village of Rassvet in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan are boycotting the national census to protest a lack of available drinking water, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.
The village, which has some 1,000 inhabitants, is 200 kilometers away from Ufa, the republican capital.
Villages told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that public officials closed the spring that served as the village's only source of water on the grounds that it was unsafe.
"Take a look at our spring, our source of water," one said. "Last year, the horns and hooves of a dead cow were found in it. Public health officials declared this water undrinkable."
Another villager told RFE/RL that officials usually visit the village only during election campaigns.
"We won't participate in the census until they listen to us," she said. "Let them say we are a dead village. I think this is what [the authorities] really want after all."
The village lacks both medical services and public transportation to connect it with the town of Belebey, 12 kilometers away.