In 2015, Platon, an electronic toll collection system was launched for trucks over 12 tons, currently charging $0.03 per kilometer. It was sold to the populace as the fund for road maintenance, however at least half of all the proceeds go to Arkadi Rothenberg (net worth $3 billion), Mr. Putin’s ex judo partner, and Arkadi’s son Igor. This is another instance that makes many Russians perceive themselves as serfs who have to pay fees to their masters.
Mr. Rothenberg and Mr. Putin
Most trucks in Russia are owned and operated by independent contractors, and with enormous distances all these cents add up and render many businesses unprofitable. Contractors have passed Platon charges on to their drivers and customers that have to pay more for food products and consumer goods.
Truckers have protested against Platon, but the levy only increases every year.
Officially, truckers make on average less than $10,000 a year. Platon system makes sure that their salaries continue to stagnate, while inflation continues to eat away at the value of their salaries. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Russian truckers have been looking for trucking jobs overseas. I typed “trucker jobs in…” in Russian, and these are Google search results:
trucker jobs in Europe, trucker jobs in Lithuania, trucker jobs in Germany, trucker jobs in Poland, trucker jobs in Russia
Trucker jobs in Russia is distant 5th.
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