Krasnoyarsk, Russia

  • Date
  • 14 August 1999

(See notes from yesterday for context.) Twenty-year-old Ilena is Sergei Ivanovich and Natasha’s daughter, who is studying law, lives at home and thinks Russian women work harder than men. In Ilena’s law school group, there are 25 women and 120 men. She aspires to be an “advocate” for people, but thinks smart, educated women have a difficult time finding men “who suit them, since most men do not want a woman who is as accomplished”.

Tatiana, 22 and a recent English and German major from the local university, told me she pays 400 rubles (US$16) per month for her flat, which has one room with heat and water included. She said doctors and professors make only 600 rubles (US$24) per month while lawyers make 5000 rubles ($200). Tatiana described New Russians as, “mostly young men with buzz haircuts, driving expensive, new cars, building large brick homes, who made their money illegally initially, but now legitimately.” Fond of bars, even though she does not drink alcohol, Tatiana likes music, classical novels and harbors no interest in politics. Flatly, she told me, “It is difficult to follow politics in Russia when the Prime Minister is ousted every three months.”