number of Russia’s regions continued to suffer as a result of a lethal combination of extremely cold weather, rotting infrastructure, a distorted energy market and the traditional mix of bureaucratic corruption, incompetence and outright criminal negligence. Shortages of coal were exacerbated by the ongoing Arctic freeze in some of Siberia’s coal-mining regions. The situation in the Far East’s Primorsky Krai worsened, with some regions experiencing power outages of 10-12 hours a day and cut-offs of both hot and cold water. Radio Liberty reported that Valentina Vasilenko, a Vladivostok pensioner whose apartment had not seen temperatures higher than 3 degrees above zero Celsius since the start of winter, finally called the city’s fire services in frustration and threatened to blow up her own and the neighboring apartment building if the electricity was not turned on. When police arrived a short time later to apprehend this telephone terrorist and found no explosives in her freezing apartment, they took her down to the local precinct, just to teach her a lesson. When she arrived back home, the electricity was still off. Meanwhile, on the other side of Russia, a patient in a military hospital in the town of Tambov died when the facility’s electric power, along his artificial lung machine, was cut off. All responsible parties denied responsibility for the unfortunate incident: United Energy Systems (UES), the national power grid run by Anatoly Chubais, rushed to blame a local entity, Gorelektroset, and absolve Tambovenergo, the local UES subsidiary, while the city authorities insisted they were current on their electricity bills.