Crimea: Russian Annexation Stoking Painful Inflation
When Russia annexed Crimea just over three months ago, lots of residents expected life under the Kremlin’s guidance to result in a boost in the quality of life. But the opposite is proving true. Spiraling inflation is fueling discontent on the peninsula.
Residents are experiencing constant price hikes for food and drugs. Vladimir Klychnikov, head of Crimea’s Federation of Trade Unions, summarized residents’ discontent during a recent meeting of the Crimean government, saying that prices for many staples have “doubled, whereas wages cannot keep up pace.”
Wage and pension increases are indeed lagging behind rising costs. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Social Issues Olga Golodets reported that since the annexation average public-sector wages in Crimea have been raised by about 22 percent to 11,820 rubles (about $337), and average pensions have increased by 50 percent to 7,958 rubles (about $227). Meanwhile, wages in the private sector have remained largely stagnant.
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