Living in Russia Today
In Russia cities and a great number of smaller towns, people live in apartment blocks. Many of these apartment buildings were constructed during the late Soviet era. They are identifiable by their monolithic appearance and utilitarian size and function. Individual Soviet era apartments can be quite small. The size of a Russian apartment is described by the number of total rooms it contains apart from the kitchen and bathroom. The majority of those apartments are comprised of 2 or 3, or 4 rooms. A typical apartment does not contain a separate dining room; usually the kitchen contains enough space to accommodate a small table for eating and other useful purposes. Many Russia families will convert the living room into a sleeping space for the night. Many Russian families have a small dog or cat as a pet in their home.
During the Soviet era apartments were owned by the government and provided to each Russian family based on the size of the family. Larger families were provided apartments with more rooms. Since many of the average Russian households contain 2 or 3 generations of family members there is usually a strain on living space for the occupants. After the end of the Soviet era Russian families were given the option to purchase their apartments or continue to rent them from the government. Privatization of apartments created a nation of homeowners with real estate to buy and sell. Costs for apartments vary across the country depending on the size, city and location within the city. Moscow, the largest city in Russia, has the highest cost of housing along with the highest cost of living in the country.
Many city dwellers will also have a dacha, or a country house, where they can spend their vacation and weekends during the summer months. Some people from the cities can afford a well constructed dacha but most dachas are dilapidated and in need of significant repair.
Most of people that live in the country-side live in individual houses. Most of these houses are very rustic and have their toilet and bath amenities outside.
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