G.N. Lepeshkin: I don't think the policy that is now being pursued will bring about progress. The situation is getting worse every year. Even the press is writing about it. Some people are living high off the hog, some people have fine, wealthy living standards. Even when we had the crisis of 2008-09, millionaires popped up in our country. Even billionaires. The percentage of millionaires increased, their numbers increased. But for most people life has gotten much worse. So I don't see anything good in the future, at least for myself. Right now, and throughout the twenty years since the Soviet Union broke up, we have been using the material resources, the equipment, the enterprises that were built back in the Soviet days. They are exploited without mercy, and that's why we have dams blowing up, we have mines collapsing and we have ships sinking. All this is interconnected, after all. Nobody wants to invest a lot of money. The state used to do that. The private owner doesn't do that. His task is to pump as much as possible out of what he has.
Of course, another big problem is corruption. You and I just read this article, right? It said that the country ranks 135th in the world in terms of corruption. That's a very, very poor showing. And corruption keeps on growing. Despite the fact that Medvedev is fighting it and setting up committees that are fighting it. But essentially, the very people who are the corrupt officials are sitting on all those committees in every region.