Monday, December 31, 2018

Petersburgers Express Some Very Specific Wishes for Putin in 2019

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 31 – A survey of 13 residents of the northern capital by Emiliya Kudysheva of the city’s Gorod-812 news portal finds that many of them have very specific wishes for Vladimir Putin in 2019 with a large fraction of them expressing the hope that he will change direction (

            These include the following:

·         Aleksey Tsivilyev, a United Russia Deputy in the City’s legislative assembly says he wishes that Putin will find “real and true friends” in other countries who will stand by him “in difficult times” rather than desert Russia s some like Belarus regularly do.

·         Dmitry Grigoryev, a Pomor old believer, says he hopes that Putin will behave as Boris Yeltsin did in 1999 and announce that he is “tired” and thus is leaving office.

·         Artem Smirnov, a financial consultant, says he wishes Putin will be able to achieve real and not false stability and thus be in a better position “to feel more easily the needs of the people and thus more successfully run the country.”

·         Maria Matveyeva, an employee of the Pekariya café, says she wishes that he will spend some time in the shoes of ordinary people rather than live in isolation from them.

·         Yelena Kalnitskaya, head of a demining company, expresses the hope that “our president will have the strength and power of the Peterhof Samson” statue.

·         Cherstin Kronvall, a correspondent of Finland’s YLE television channel, says she hopes he will give foreign journalists the interview they have long asked for but been denied. If so, she says, she would ask “has there ever been in the history of humanity a moment when state borders were considered correct and located in fixed place?”

·         Anastasya Melnikova, a United Russia deputy of the city’s legislative assembly, says she wishes the president will have “strength and devoted people around him.”

·         Oleg Bodrov, a leader of the Finnish Gulf Ecological Council, says he hopes that Putin will take up the issue of the aging nuclear power plants in Russia and seek to ensure that there won’t be any leaks or disasters.

·         Yevgeny Mikhailov, a trolleybus driver, says he hopes that Putin “will not forget that Russia is not just Moscow in which the government has promised to build 35 metro stations in the next three years while in St. Petersburg where he was born over 25 years have been built only 12 stations.  He also hopes that there will be an end to the endless repairs of Russia’s roads.

·         Leonid Zakharov, head of the Khimizdat publishing house, says that Putin has achieved a lot but is clearly running down as far as energy is concerned and that, as a result, Zakharov hopes that he will find “a worthy successor” sometime in the next year and then retire.

·         Nikolay Prokhorov, a tramway driver, says he wishes Putin to have “interesting travels” but not so much abroad as in various parts of Russia. That way, he continues, the president “will see with his own eyes how the people live now and draw conclusions.”

·         Yelena Sudakova, a bookkeeper at an Orthodox church, says she hopes that Putin will turn to God for help in his efforts “in the struggle with all sorts of internal and external enemies … The Lord will hear him and help.”

·         And Vladimir Zhukovsky, director of the St. Petersburg’s Club of Geniuses, says that he hopes Putin will follow Talleyrand’s injunction not to let zeal outpace judgment.

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