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This is far from the only signal Russians are getting that the situation in their country is far less rosy than Vladimir Putin and his state-controlled television suggest. Many are now faced with the prospects of losing some of their benefits and even their pensions because of a sleight of hand Russian firms are employing, again one familiar in some Western countries.
In order to avoid paying taxes of certain kinds, some Russian employers are shifting the status of those who work for them from employees to private contractors. The companies may benefit but the workers don’t – and again many of the latter are anything but happy with this additional means of taking money away from them ( ).