"I said: 'How long have you been traveling then?'
He answered at once: 'Thirty-four years. I began in Khrushchev's day, in the hard times.'
'But those times were better than before.'
"No, not better. Stalin's time was better! I've seen his villa on the Black Sea, where he used to sit in battledress smoking his pipe!'...'That was a man who didn't insult the people! It's a lie that he made Russian life a misery. In his day a man in prison was better off than a free man now. And today the prisons are still overflowing. You can get sentenced for nothing.'"
Reference: Thubron, Colin. 1999. In Siberia. New York: HarperCollins. Pages 14-15.