The American Dream in Nizhny Novgorod
In a Russian City, Clues to Putin's Abiding Appeal
By Peter Finn Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, November 24, 2007; A01
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- The 1990s are fresh in Vadim Ignatiyev's memory -- pathetic wages delayed for weeks, kopeks scraped together to buy food, and a fear of the future blended of helplessness and rage.
The lean, balding 35-year-old, who has spent his adult life working on the line at a glass factory in the suburbs of this city, now sits at a laden table with his wife and 13-year-old son. Behind him is a brand-new television beside a matching CD player, also new. His Lada car, bought recently with a bank loan, is parked outside the family's second-story walk-up apartment.
"I feel much safer now," said Ignatiyev, whose family recently took its first vacation abroad, a package tour to a Turkish resort. "I have a good job, not a prestigious job, but a good living." In just the past two years, his salary has more than doubled, to $700 a month, reflecting his f…