Latest Issue

Letter from Russia

Samantha de Bendern discovers why the Russian countryside is littered with half finished houses

Imagine a country where everyone, everywhere, has decided to build a house at the same time. You could call it builders’ paradise. For those of us who live here it is simply the “new Russia”-an uncharted territory somewhere on the raw edge of capitalism.

A year ago we moved into the village of Kalchuga, ten miles west of Moscow, after tearing to pieces and rebuilding a country dacha in the village. We are now recovering from those months of begging builders to work for us, and entreating overpaid tradesmen to sell us their paint, bathroom taps and other building materials.

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect