(2 of 2)
HOW HAS LIFE BEEN FOR YOU SINCE THE DEATH OF YOUR WIFE RAISA IN 1999? That is something I can speak about more calmly now, but for a while after she died, I thought there was nothing positive about life. I have learned how important family is. I spend a lot of time with my daughter Irina and my two granddaughters. They have busy lives, but we do things together like go out to restaurants.
ARE YOU ENJOYING LIFE? Yes, but there are some difficulties. Traveling is physically hard. And my [government] pension is only 40,000 rubles a month [about $1,400].
HAVE YOU PICKED UP ANY NEW HOBBIES? I have become really interested in fitness--my daughter encouraged me. I have a gym at home with a treadmill, a bike and weights. And I really love those elastic resistance ropes. They're great. We also like to cook. I love Russian food the most, but also Italian and Mediterranean. I am more involved as the theoretical director of meals, but when they are ready, I get involved at the consumption stage too. [Laughs] Then I have to explain to people why I can't lose weight.