Politics and Money - Interviews with Russian people in Vladimir - October 2004

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 22 Dec 2009)
"Now politics in Russia is OK. We need this strong hand to hold us. We need to be under some political pressure to function effectively...." - Paul
The questions below were sent to us by Way to Russia readers. Our writers go out on the streets and ask exact same questions to ordinary Russians they meet. Their answers are below. Want to ask a question? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.


Paul: Paul, a private merchant, an ex-research-worker. Has his own store and several kiosks in Vladimir.

Paul - businessman from Vladimir

 
Question: "Would you ever consider emigrating, and if yes, to which country?"
A: This thought has never crossed my mind. I am Russian. I belong to this place.

Question: "Where would you like to travel?"
A: China. This country has a great future. I want to see the roots of it with my own eyes.

Question: “What can a foreign woman do so that a Russian man likes her?"
A: Pour out a glass of wine, maybe…

Question: "Is there anything you have done so far in your life you feel proud about?"
A: Not yet.

Question: "It is said that Russia is both European and not. What is the most European aspect of Russian mind, and what is the most Asian aspect?"
A. Being intelligent and highly educated deals with our European part of mind. In all other aspects we are pigs those favorite thing to do is leaving dirt after our picnics.

Question : "If you could change one thing to make life better where you live at what would it be?"
A. Now politics in Russia is O’K. We need this strong hand to hold us. We need to be under some political pressure to function effectively. I would like to give more freedom to economics. Nowadays I have to get too many permissions and licenses from officials. It makes me upset. Also I’d like to reduce taxes. They eat 70 per cent of my profit.

Question : "Do you drink a lot of vodka?"
A. I, personally, don’t drink at all. But two friends of mine can drink 2 liters (half of a gallon) at once per two of them.

Question : "Is there a lot of racism in Russia? Do any black people live there?"
A. It is normal for every nation to hate others. We don’t have blacks. May be, 10 African International students in our town. That’s all.

Question : "What can you say about president Bush?"
I don’t see anything extraordinary in him. He is an ordinary American politician.

Question: "Why are so many Russian woman looking to marry a man from the west. Is this because of more money and a better life or is it that Russian men do not treat Russian women well?"
A. Poverty, for the most part. One more factor. The quality of Russian men is a way below of the quality of Russian women. We have really poor choice of normal men here.

Question : "How do you feel about foreigners who come through Russia?”
A. I don’t see foreigners very much. From a very little experience that I have they seen to be liars. Always smiling and not saying what they really think.

 

 

Irina Shubina, a student of Financial Academy in Vladimir

Irina - student from Vladimir

  
Question: "What can a woman do to be liked by a Russian man? What do Russian men respect and like the most?"
A. To be attractive. To look great. This is number 1 requirement. If this is not so nothing can help. Russian men are spoiled by beauty. If you can meet number 1 requirement they can talk to you about being kind and caring.

Question: "Is there a lot of racism in Russia? Do any black people live there?"
A. O, yes. Jews, Caucasus people, Chechens, who not. It is common in Russia to hate others just because they are not from nearest village.

Question: "Why are so many Russian women looking to marry a man from the west. Is this because of more money and a better life or is it that russian men do not treat russian women well?"
A. I think they are looking for easy money not for true love. I have friends. They are young and healthy. They don’t want to work hard, think hard, try hard… To find easy life is their motto.

Question: "Do you like to travel and see new places and cultures, and which country would you most like to visit if you could travel anywhere and why."
A.I love water. I would like to go to Venice to see all their gondoliers and beautiful Italian buildings drowning in water.

Question: "What is your hobby?"
A. I love embroidery. I take paintings of famous artists and cross-stitch them.

Question: "What do you think about Putin?"
A. Superb. Perfect man.

Question: "Why do Russians often look very closed and sad and don't even smile in their passport's picture?"
It is strictly prohibited to smile in your passport picture! You are supposed to be dad serious in it.


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Question: "What do you think of the Russian group TATU and its success?"
A. I am 20. Too old to listen to this junk. I don’t like this group.

Question : "Do you think life in Russia is very weird?"
A. No doubts. It is weird. Your house can fall apart while you sleep. Your train can be exploded while you trying to reach another metro station. Yes. Life is extremely weird in Russia.

Question : "Are Russians really ruthless, cynical and prone to tragedy?"
A. No. 3 times “no”. May be we drink too much vodka and eat too much pancakes but Russians are very responsive and compassionate people. Russians love their children too!


Question: "ARE ALL RUSSIAN MEN THE KIND OF MEN THAT THINK THAT WOMENS ARE STUPID AND NEED TO OBEY WHAT THEY SAY AND NOTHING ELSE."

A. No. I like the way they treat me.

Question : "What clothes are in style in Russia? Are Russian styles differnt from american styles?"
A. I think there is no Russian style or American style. The way you dress in Russia is determined by your budget. If you have money you demonstrate it in your clothing. In America people, I think, are careless about the way they look. They have another indicators, may be. They can be rich but wear wrinkled shirts and jeans. In Russia if you are rich it displays in your clothing.

 

 

Vladimir Vanin a high qualified turner from “Tochmash” factory in Vladimir

Vladimir - a worker from Vladimir

  
  
Question: "What do Russians think about Americans and other foreigners?"

A. I think they are more determined and goal oriented. Most of Russians don’t have a specific purpose in life.

Question: "What is Russia's future? What will Russian life be like in twenty years?"
A. I am sure that nothing is going to change. Honestly, I think that things will become even worse.

Question: "What can a woman do to be liked by a Russian man? What do Russian men respect and like the most?"
A. They seem to be always at your disposal. Just call them! I wish they give us some space to hunt and pursue.

Question: "Do you like to travel and see new places and cultures, and which country would you most like to visit if you could travel anywhere and why.
A. I don’t travel much because of several reasons, you know… If I have a chance… I would like to go to America. I think it’s far enough… Want to see this beast with my own eyes.

Question: "What is your hobby?"
A. Technical maintenance in me own house.

Question: "What do you think about Putin?"
A. It looks like he can accomplish less than 50 percent of what he is promising. Question: "In spite of having all the elements of the periodic table in its territory and millions of highly intelligent people, Russia has never managed well enough. Why?"
A. Bad luck… We were unlucky as hell during last hundred years with our county leaders.

Question: "what is the most popular food that you eat?"
A. Pancakes and ravioli kind of thing. We call them pelmeni.

Question : "Are you disgusted that there are some people in Russia such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky (currently in jail) that have been able to become billionaires in less then 10 years (since the demise of the CCCP) while the average Russian worker only earns about 100 USD per month? Especially since these people have made their money by "acquiring" formerly state owned (CCCP) industries."
A. No, not at all. I believe that some people have a gift of clairvoyance. Mikhail is just one of them. He knew what to do and what kind of decisions to make to become successful in life. No matter where he is… In his office or in jail. You can’t deny his success in life. I don’t have such a gift. That is why I am a turner and live in Vladimir.

Question "now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each sistem would you like to return to the socialist regime?"
A. It depends on what kind of socialism you are talking about. If it’s Sweden type of socialism, I don’t mind going there. But I will never willingly go back to the USSR!

 


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