Staunton, April 28 – Rosstat, the Russian government’s official statistical office, reports that 42.1 percent of Russians live on 633 rubles or less a day, a figure amounting to 9.90 US dollars; and that slightly more than every fourth Russian—26.9 percent – lives on eight US dollars a day.
These figures, reported in Rosstat’s quarterly publication, are above those of the poorest countries of the world; but they are also far below those for Western Europe and the United States (gks.ru/free_doc/doc_2018/social/osn-03-2018.pdffinanz.ru/novosti/lichnyye-finansy/rosstat-40percent-rossiyan-zhivut-menshe-chem-na-$10-v-den-1022661756).
They indicate that “more than a third” of the Russian population now exists at a level “when all their incomes go for food and required payments, according to monitoring by the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service as reported by Finanz.ru. And to keep their heads above water, ever more Russians are using credit cards or taking out loans.
A second piece of troubling economic news from Russian officials that at least in part confirms Western estimates comes from Viktor Bondaryev, chairman of the Federation Council defense and security committee. He says that between 2000 and 2017, more than 430 billion US dollars left Russia in capital flight (ria.ru/economy/20180427/1519591387.html).
“These gigantic financial means could have been invested in the development of the country’s economy,” he says. While his figures are lower than the 1.3 trillion US dollars some Western analysts have proposed, they are vastly larger than those Russian officials have offered in the past (svpressa.ru/economy/article/199111/).