When Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Omsk, the second largest city in Siberia, on August 28, Vesti, the prime news show on the Rossiya-1 state television channel, which is watched by nearly 99% of Russians and a hundred million viewers abroad, ran a segment showing how Omsk is developing into a modern and eco-friendly city.
“I’ve lived here for 20 or so years, (expletive), but don’t remember that we had such picturesque landscapes. Omsk is one (expletive) ugly grey-panel sprawl,” a local man wrote on an Internet forum, according to Meduza.io.
That was because for Putin’s visit, Rossiya-1 showed footage of Moscow while saying it was Omsk. The footage was specifically of the Russian capital’s Mitino district, located 17 kilometers northwest of the city’s center. The improvement plan for Mitino adopted by Moscow administration in 2016 cost 702 million rubles (around $12 million) in 2017 and 813 million rubles (around $13 million) in 2018.
By comparison, Omsk was rated number four on a list of Russia’s ten “most depressing cities” compiled in 2015 by the Russian government’s Financial University. The city was renovated in recent years but the improvements have never reached beyond the downtown.