Staunton, Nov. 20 – According to the Russian interior ministry, Russia suffered 724.3 billion rubles (10 billion US dollars) in losses from crimes during the first ten months of 2021, a figure 66.4 percent more than a year earlier when the country was still largely in lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic.
Both the overall figure and the increase are staggering given the size of the Russian economy, and both are likely understated given that this official estimate involves only losses from crimes that are reported to the authorities, an historically small fraction of all crimes (tass.ru/proisshestviya/12978245).
On the one hand, these figures render claims that the total number of crimes actually fell year on year. They were down 1.9 percent, the interior ministry said. And on the other, they raise fears that Russia is returning to a time like that in the 1990s when crime was rampant, a sign that all of Putin’s repression has done little to end that if other problems are not addressed.