Friday, December 15, 2023

Moscow’s Claims to Have Cut Poverty Reflect Statistical Manipulation and Short-Term Impact of Spending on War in Ukraine, Parfenov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 10 – The Russian government’s claim that it has reduced the number of Russians living in poverty is primarily the result of statistical manipulation rather than of any actual improvement, Denis Parfenov says. Even those nowhere near where Moscow officials say the poverty line are poor by any reasonable standard.

            Indeed, the economist and Duma deputy says, if the Russian authorities used the standards by which poverty is measured in Europe and the United States, half of the Russian population would be considered poor in terms of its purchasing power and consumption (

            But there is another factor at work as well, albeit one that “does not testify to the improvement of the economic situation, the growth of productivity or the increase in the overall production of our economy” and that is the war in Ukraine. Vast sums are going into this sector, and some are benefiting. However, these gains are short-term and won’t help in the future.

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