In the last 24 hours, more than 60 long-haul truckers joined the strike encampment in Manas in Daghestan, bringing the total number of trucks parked there to 350, and truckers in Sverdlovsk Oblast said they will send a column of 480 trucks to Moscow to press their case.
The drivers said they chose that number in order to highlight how false was Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s claim last week that only 480 drivers were taking part in the job action in Russia as a whole.
Meanwhile, some Moscow outlets are beginning to acknowledge that despite what Russian officials are saying, the strike is growing, spreading to ever more regions and having an ever greater impact on consumers because food and other products regularly delivered by trucks aren’t reaching the shelves.
Indeed, Anastassia Bashkatova, an economics reporter for Nezavisimaya gazeta, adds, the government appears set to make its own problems with the strikers worse by suggesting that it may impose the Plato fee system not only on the truckers, as current arrangements have it, but also on long-distance buses as well.
If that happens, drivers at some bus companies could join the strike, and Russians, who in many cases rely on bus travel as an inexpensive means of getting from one place to another, will be hit as well, angering them and possibly putting more pressure on the Moscow regime to reconsider and back down.
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