Thursday, April 21, 2022

Russian Charities Increasingly Hard-Pressed because of Economic Crisis, War and Sanctions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 12 – Putin’s war in Ukraine is inflicting an increasing amount of collateral damage including in the Russian Federation itself. One of the major victims of this are that country’s private charities for the seriously ill who have seen their incomes plummet as incomes have fallen, the war has distracted attention, and sanctions have reduced donations.

            A survey of Russian charities finds that many of them have suffered “a plunge in donations.” Others have seen major sponsors pull out. In addition, they face skyrocketing costs for medication, drugs, food and equipment, and the logistical arrangements they depended on, money transfer systems in particular, are “in tatters” (

            None of the foundations contacted said they had yet been forced to cut back in supporting those who need assistance. They are instead relying on their reserves. But these are increasingly running short and cutbacks loom. One foundation head said “we’ll keep doing everything within our power for as long as we can.” But the current situation is not sustainable for the long term.

            This is a particularly serious problem for Russians in need because state entities on whom they might have relied in the past have been eliminated as a result of Putin’s “optimization” program, the name itself a euphemism for radical cutbacks in medical facilities and supporting organizations.  

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