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Transmission

Not So Fearsome: Grozny Tops Poll As Russia's Happiest City

The spanking new Akhmat Kadyrov Arena Stadium in the Chechen capital, Grozny
The spanking new Akhmat Kadyrov Arena Stadium in the Chechen capital, Grozny
It might seem strange for a city that was only recently the epicenter of two detrimental and demoralizing wars, but a new survey by the NewsEffector website claims that Grozny is now Russia's "happiest" city.

With nearly 27,000 respondents polled across the Russian Federation, the Chechen capital edged out Siberia's Tyumen and the Tatar capital, Kazan, to top the list as the most blissed out city.

For a town that has only started to find its feet after suffering repeated bombardments and widespread violence over the past two decades, Grozny's newfound happiness may come as a surprise to many.

"The Chechen capital's first place on the index of happiness among the Russian regions was quite unexpected," said NewsEffector's director, Sergei Moroz. "This is due mainly to the fact that in recent years it has changed tremendously for the better."

Respondents in the survey had to answer six questions: How happy are you with your financial situation? Are you satisfied with the state of the environment in your city? Do you feel safe in your city? Are you satisfied with how your city is developing? How happy are you with the development of urban infrastructure? and Do you feel happy in your city?

Although only 23 percent of Grozny's denizens felt they had enough money in their pockets, the city scored highly among the other criteria, getting scores of around 70-80 percent in other categories, such as its environmental state, rate of development, and feelings of happiness.

The "fearsome" fortress city's high-ranking performance in the poll may have a lot to do with the fact that it is finally beginning to enjoy a certain amount of stability after decades of near chaos.

Chechnya's strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has spent huge amounts of money in rebuilding Grozny since he came to power in 2007. He is also credited with having restored order in the once-lawless city, although there are many who would argue that he has achieved this through repression and fear

Somewhat surprisingly, Moscow fared quite badly in the survey. Although most of the Russian capital's citizens were happy with their finances, they were less than enthused about the city's environment, safety levels, and rate of development.

PHOTO GALLERY: Grozny -- Russia's 'Happiest' City
  • Girls play on the central square of the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque in Grozny. The mosque, which was opened in 2008, is named after the late father of Chechnya's strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. 
  • The Chechen capital is gradually being rebuilt after it was devastated by two wars between separatists and Russian forces as well as many years of low-level insurgence. 
  • The remains of the former presidential palace in Grozny after the first Chechen conflict in the 1990s. 
  • The exterior of Grozny's Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque. 
  • A view of central Grozny as it looks today. 
  • A nighttime view of the Chechen capital from the Grozny City Hotel

  • A young man and woman dance outside a polling station in Grozny during Russia's presidential election in March 2012.
  • A man photographs a girl against a backdrop of fountains in the center of Grozny earlier this summer. 
  • Boys cool off from the summer heat in a fountain in downtown Grozny. 
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
August 31, 2012 16:12
would RFE/RL publish the results of similar survey for the following cities:
Bahdad
Kabul
Tripoli
???
following their "liberation" by NATO minions?
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 31, 2012 20:37
A very good point, Jack. And how about publishing a survey on the level of happiness in such example of the "American dream achieved" as Detroit or Stockton? Would be interesting to see a new George W. Obama Stadium inaugurated in one of those cities of American renaissance :-)).
In Response

by: Keith from: US
September 01, 2012 19:34
First the lefties destroyed our cities with unmeetable union demands on industry and insane benefits and wages for city workers, crippling the local economy. Then they insisted on forced integration with busing, destroying city schools, and then imposed astronomical taxes on those remaining thinking that money grows on trees.

Hard to make any progress under those conditions.
In Response

by: Keith from: US
September 01, 2012 19:45
Afghanistan's economy has grown from $13 billion annually before the invasion to $36 billion annually since. Most of the population hasn't experienced this kind of stability since the late 1970s.

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/afghanistan/gni-ppp-us-dollar-wb-data.html

Iraq's non-oil economy is expected to grow 9.4% over the next four years, 12% including oil. And Shiites aren't being killed by the hundreds of thousands. Kind of depends on who you ask.

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2012/02/21/new-iraq-gdp-growth-forecast-from-central-bank/

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
August 31, 2012 17:06
The saddest city in Russia is Chita, but what's even sadder is Tbilisi, where Mishcha Saakaschwili is preparing for his next gringo-instigated uprising.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
September 02, 2012 04:08
Being smart again, expanding Russia?
Isn't it like in each generation you devistated Poland,
Deporting hundreds of thousands, dying on frozen roads,
To end in Siberian camps and exiles, finally rest at parashas?
Didn't you say: "Listen music - quench your rebeling pasion"?

Didn't Putin say about unhappy victims, being imperio-smart:
- "Many are sent far away, others are permanently absent."
Rest, after death and destruction, see less Russian arms,
Burning Cities and killings - is enviroment much better?
Rebuiling ruins, one hope be happy? Being robbed?

"I Monument erected to treasonous Russian Empire.
Remnant of desecrated and Russ-repopulated tribes
Will craull to Monument, cry from happiness, and die,
At feet of Russia, listen music-"neskladuha" and wibe,
Quench rebeling soul. Even Kalmyk will serve Empire."

Jack and Eugenio and here you are bloody neskladuha.
Chechnia healing its wounds, after a larger enemy war
Destroyed a country, many wounds, but your "makuha"
Can't make remaining soul not to run to country homes.
It is why you catch them, if left City, and kill as "blyaha".

You lied about me and my mother here and got her killed
7/7/2012, Using also this Forum, writing "Anti-American"
And pin it on me, like I used your name. Now she is dead.
Using similar lies kill Chechen kids if they unhappy, "gad"?
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 06, 2012 03:30
Did that really happen?

by: Canadianboy from: Ottawa
August 31, 2012 19:17
"The spanking new Akhmat Kadyrov Arena Stadium in the Chechen capital, Grozny"

I believe you mean to say the brand-spanking new?
In Response

by: Rozina from: Sydney
August 31, 2012 20:32
Not only "spanking new" but the citizens are "blissed out" as well. You'd think Grozny was one big trippy rave place full of dominatrices. I suppose with Ramazan Kadyrov in charge, anything is possible.

by: john from: canada
August 31, 2012 19:43
Those who respond to the survey are alive and not in one of the Kadyrovite torture chambers.

Those who survive are enjoying the largesse of the Russian taxpayer feeding the Caucasus, funneled through Ramzan's machine.

Those who are happy were paid to vote - and to vote for Putin and United Russia.

Those who are happy are men who will spank women in Grozny who do not wear head-scarves, who can abuse women with impunity, and get away with honour killings and bride kidnapping.


by: wahaq from: Londonistan
September 02, 2012 10:00
A simply marvellous place to live. State hand outs. A repressive apparatus that only punishes the bad guys.
top of the celebrity list - yeah even rapists like Mike Tyson can feel comfortable here with good company of like minded.

everything is fine, just fine. Normalna

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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