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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

""St. Petersburg's Voice

After two and a half years of commuting from St. Petersburg and living in the Rossiya Hotel, Vasily Travnikov is finally going to get an apartment in Moscow.


"It's been tough living in a hotel", he said. "But I didn't want an apartment at first because my home was only an hour's flight away".


As a member of Russia's standing parliament, Travnikov, 56, is entitled to a spacious apartment in a new Moscow high rise. But the lawyer has chosen up until now to stick as close as possible to home. A member of the Radical Democrat faction, which includes 50 of parliament's most liberal legislators, Travnikov says he is worried about what will happen to reforms.


"You can't change the prime minister now that he has started down one path", he said of Yegor Gaidar. "The price has been high for people, especially for pensioners, teachers, and students. But if you look at what is in the future, it is justified.


"We have to live through this period - and there have been many periods like this in Russia", he added. "If we do, then we will achieve what we have been striving for".


Travnikov has little patience for many of his colleagues at the Congress, whom he says have little to do after presiding over the collapse of their state monopolies and are deceiving constituents about the life reforms could lead them to.


"These 'leader's of the 1990s", he said sarcastically, glancing around the congress hall, "they see very well how well people live in the West, but they don't say anything about this. They travel abroad, bring home all sorts of things from there, but they don't talk about this".


"If a peasant went to the West, talked with a farmer and saw how everything is done there", he added, "I can assure you he would rethink his position and support the reforms".