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Hot or Cold? How do you like it?

If you have been away from hearing the news, there is a dispute between Russia and Ukraine regarding how much Ukraine should pay for natural gas from Russia. They have been paying something like $50 per cubic ton and now the Russian gas company wants to charge 4-5 times that amount to like $250.

Needless to say, Ukraine is balking at that amount as it would stifle industry and cause a tremendous burden on the government and its budget. Ukraine says that it has enough reserve to get through the winter if Russia does cut it off. Well, on New Year’s Day, Russia did cut off Ukraine, however, the pipelines that supply Western Europe with gas from Russia run through the same pipelines and so now Russia is saying that Ukraine is stealing its gas that it is shipping to Western Europe. Ukraine says that it is only taking what Russia would pay them for allowing them to run the pipeline through Ukraine.

Many people believe that Russia is now doing this as a political ploy since the Kremlin backed presidential candidate, Yanukovich, was defeated in last year’s Ukraine presidential election.

It would be really funny if it wasn’t so serious. This morning I went to the wash room to wash my face but the water never got even warm. It was ice cold. Immediately, I began to wonder if we didn’t have any hot water.

In most of the former Soviet Union, hot water is centrally heated and then piped to the apartment buildings. That’s also how the buildings are heated through hot water radiators. So, I wondered if the government had shut off our hot water.

However, I called one other family and they still had hot water and then when I turned the hot water on in the kitchen it worked. So, it probably means that there is a leak in the pipes that run through our bathrooms and that section had to be turned off for repair.

At least that’s what I hope…stay tuned.

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