Monday, March 23, 2020

Putin’s Claim that ‘More than 70 Percent of Russians are Middle Class’ Dismissed as Absurd

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 19 – Vladimir Putin’s assertion this week that “more than 70 percent” of Russians are middle class has been dismissed as a lie and an insult by all independent  experts and commentators who note that the Russian government’s own figures show that more than half of Russians today are poor or impoverished (

            The Kasparov portal collected comments by a number of them who said that Putin had made “a discovery” that those with incomes of 250 US dollars a month are middle class and, observing that while Marie Antoinette’s  “let them eat cake” may be apocryphal, Putin’s updated equivalent is being carried by all state media (

            But the final and most damning words came from Yevgeny Yasin, a former economics minister and senior scholar. He says “no more than 15 percent of the population in Russia are middle class” and that Putin’s claimed international basis for his numbers is used only by Putin himself (

            As others observed, Putin would have been better served by keeping his mouth shut.

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