Russia's deputy prime minister thinks it's funny that people live in small homes
While on an official visit to the city of Kazan last week, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was taken on a tour of new economy-class apartments now under construction. In particular, he was shown a 20-square-meter (215-square-foot) apartment. He later told journalists that he was amused to learn people actually buy such homes. Shuvalov said, “It seems ridiculous, but people buy such housing, and it's actually very popular. There's a niche for such housing.” Given that people usually opt for such small homes out of economic necessity and not because of an affinity for cramped spaces—and remembering that Shuvalov rents a 1,500-square-meter (16,145-square-foot) house in Austria and a luxury apartment in Great Britain—the deputy prime minister's comments raised some eyebrows in Russia. On Twitter, people wasted no time using Shuvalov's unfortunate remarks as grounds to joke about Russia's low wages, state corruption, and Putin personality cult.