As a musician, I travel around the country constantly and I meet different people. What I want to tell you, you probably already know, but I suspect that you can not imagine the scale of the disaster.
You will of course know the word "откат" (otkat) (*). 5-6 years ago, the average otkat in the country was 30 %. We weeped, but we paid. Today it is 70 %. I even know a case in which the otkat was 95 %. The whole country knows about this situation. They know it, but they don't say anything, since a part of the population is living on bribes and can eat by it, and another (much larger) part is afraid of losing everything, even the remaining thirty percent. I know what you will say - let them go to court. But they can not go to court, mister Putin. Because our courts today have become machines to punish undesirable elements or devices to get money from plaintiffs.
Thus, the remaining 30 % of the budget can be used to strengthen the defense, to build roads, to develop industry, medicine and education and to organise the world's best Olympic Games. If the situation will change drastically in the near future, we are heading for a total disaster.
I am writing this letter to you because in our life today, no major changes are possible without your decision, your word or your intervention.p>
I do not think you can stand so indifferent to the country that chose you as president.
(*) Otkat ("rollback") is the term used when Russian officials expect bribes in exchange when citizens or companies want government contracts. The government officials pay the contractor performing the work or supplying the services, and expect that a portion of that money "rolls back" to them.