Russian Language Blog

Economic Struggles of Russian People Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Culture, History, News, Russian life, when in Russia

Try to imagine this scenario: the price of many goods and services you’ve come to depend on have increased by at least a third, food costs in many cases have doubled, while your salary has stayed the same; there is talk at work of going to a three-day work week or closing down all together. For so many in Russia, this is not something they have to imagine because it is a stark reality with no end in sight ever since the Russian ruble went into a downward spiral.

With much of the world dealing with economic hardships, perhaps you are also reeling from the economic downturn, it may be difficult to empathize with the plight of others. You don’t have to be an economics professor to understand the situation, but since we live in an interdependent world, we may all be affected in one way or another.

Konstantin Sonin, a professor of economics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, recently stated that the Russian government has been forced to make budget cuts of up to 10 percent across the board – except for the military of course. He went on to say that the main cause has been the decrease in the price of oil, along with sanctions from the West.

Those living on pensions are also nervous because the government has had to borrow money from pension funds to “plug budget holes” for a second year according to The Moscow Times. Some of my relatives are worried about losing their pensions or having them decreased. With the rising costs of food and necessities combined with the fear of losing your income, you can imagine how scary the situation is. Many of these retired citizens are too old to work and could not likely find work if they chose to do so.

As one that is an optimist, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the positive in this situation. Russian people have proven time and again just how resilient they can be so I don’t doubt that they will survive this crisis. That old saying “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” holds true and hopefully continues to do so.

On the bright sight, the ruble has been doing better in the last two weeks, so hopefully Russia is on its way to full recovery.


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About the Author: Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u


  1. Moonyeen Albrecht:

    I arrived in Moscow yesterday and will be here for two weeks. It will be interesting to see what changes there are since the time I last visited a year ago. Last year I brought some rubles home with me but obviously they lost value over the year. I don’t know yet if I will have to change money again. Right now it’s about 50 rubles to the dollar. Better than a few months ago. If I can I will give some camparisons over the next few weeks. My hotel room at the Danilovsky Hotel on/near Danilovsky Monastery grounds is about $112 a night. Not too bad for Moscow. My borsch last night came to about $6 and was very good.

  2. Jenya:

    Муни, this is wonderful! I look forward to your comparisons! I hope everything goes smoothly for you

  3. Gary:

    Explains Vladimir Putin’s popularity with elder population well!