explains why the degree to which Russians embrace the
free market is age dependent.
People in their 40s and 50s and older would feel quite
bitter and many of them do not have, haven't gotten
any opportunities for advancement. People of younger
ages will probably be a little more enthusiastic. Certainly,
they probably would find a lot of issues to complain
about but on one hand; on another hand they would feel
that still they are living much better; they are much
better off financially and so on. But for people, there
are certain issues in Russian society in general that
make it even more difficult for people of older ages.
example, a chance to get a first-time good paying job
is practically nonexistent for people over 35. So if
you have a chance to get, say, a job if you are, for
example, 20, 22, 25, even at that time, it's already
kind of questionable. And if you get to the age, again,
past 35, you may not have a chance, even if you have
a specialty and education and you have had a career
and you have proved already that you know something.
But you may still not find a job. So that's one issue
that's made people bitter. And then, again, if you look,
about 30% are officially below minimum wage line. I
mean, 27 to 30%. And … most frequently older people,
example, I remember, it was in '98 when I was there,
I remember going to a store, to bread store. And the
stores frequently are specialized, so to bread store.
And people were buying, say, a loaf of bread and some
kind of goodies. And there was an older woman in front
of me who bought probably four or five loaves and that
was it. And she commented to somebody that she got her
pension today and this is going to be her food for the
rest of the month. …So that's an issue that's there.
And of course, how is she going to feel about that?
Of course she's not going to like it.
for people who lived, for the generation that lived
or even fought in the Second World War, lived through
Second World War, and in St. Petersburg in particular
for people who lived through blockade and they are now
in their 60s…and older, for them, it's not only, it's
difficult, it's also very humiliating because they all
sacrificed a lot and they feel that they really were
seriously betrayed in many ways by the recent changes.