The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a brand new blow to Russia’s stagnating economic system, which was already chafing below Western sanctions, low oil costs and weak company funding.

Observers say that rising poverty, falling incomes and lack of tangible authorities help through the pandemic are fuelling discontent with President Vladimir Putin’s two-decade rule and strengthening the opposition. Answering the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s name, tens of hundreds of individuals have protested throughout Russia over the previous few weeks.

Russians’ actual disposable incomes have been falling for the previous half-decade, and contracted by 3.5% in 2020, whereas the price of fundamental foodstuffs surged.

Mr. Putin in December ordered Ministers to introduce emergency measures to cap costs. Regardless of authorities efforts to rein in inflation, the price of sugar was 64% greater in January than it was a 12 months earlier.

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