Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich

Russian peasants used to write letters to the Tsar in the hope he would be able to address their grievances. The Guardian reports that this tradition has been reinvigorated under President Putin, who receives 11,000 letters each week. This letter comes from Vitaly Bakhrushin, a pensioner…

March 4 2004

Vladimir Vladimirovich!

I have 1,000 dollars in my bank account. In the event of my death it will be enough for a proper funeral [the most basic costs $500]. But, according to the law, when I die my relatives have to wait six months before they can get the whole sum. They can immediately only get $300, and only then if they produce a notarised certificate confirming my death. Thus, I have two questions for our president:

1. Mr President, do you think that $300 is enough for a proper funeral in Russia?

2. How much money would be spent on the funeral of the president of the Russian Federation in the event of his death?

More here.

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4 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    I always found this to be an interesting tradition. As an American, I react with cynicism and a kind of “oh you silly Russians” thought, but hey, it does have a kind of touching innocence, optimism, and faith in one’s leaders to it.

    I had a friend who told me that her grandfather, who was exiled to Yakutsk, wrote to whomever was in charge in Moscow all the time.

  2. Andy says:

    Just out of curiosity I googled to see how much mail the US president receives.

    “in the first six and one-half years of the Clinton administration, the President received 20,521,715 pieces of mail (including faxes), plus 3,876,105 e-mail messages… Other yearly averages: Eisenhower, 700,000; Kennedy, 1,815,000; Johnson, 1,647,000; Nixon, 2,687,000; Ford, 2,381,000; Carter, 3,532,000; Reagan, 5,802,895; and George H. W. Bush, 6,100,000.”

    Oh you silly Americans – so charmingly innocent 😉

  1. March 10, 2004

    Dear Mr Putin

    SiberianLight: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich Suberian Light’s come across a Guardian article about some of the 11,000 letters Putin receives a month. You go from bemused at what Russians expect from the president to sadness at their plight. As Americans …

  2. March 11, 2004

    Bits and pieces

    Since a few people have said to me they were interested in reading about Eastern Europe, maybe I should make this into a sort of easteurophile mission. It helps that I’ve recently been invited to contribute to a new community…