Life in Russia is about to get hard
Ordinary Russians face collateral damage from the invasion of Ukraine
Life in Russia is about to get very hard. Some of the biggest collateral damage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is to the well-being of ordinary Russians, who did not ask for this war.
As the West has announced unprecedented sanctions against Russia, the value of the ruble has crashed to less than a penny, making Russians’ holdings of rubles worth a lot less in international markets. And many Western companies are pulling out of Russia.
“The economy in Russia is in free fall. The economy is likely set for a deep economic recession, maybe more than 10% a year. Inflation is spiking. His [Putin’s] war chest of foreign reserves is now worthless. The ruble is worth less than a penny. His stock market hasn’t opened all week…and rating agencies are downgrading the country to junk status,” Daleep Singh, deputy national security adviser for international economics at the White House, told ABC News. “The Russian economy is set for a free fall. It may be the 11th largest economy now, but if this aggression continues and the currency continues to plummet, Putin is looking at an economy roughly half the size with the living standards for his people falling precipitously.”
Russians won’t be able to buy basic goods from other countries. Apple is no longer selling iPhones in Russia. Car companies including Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are halting exports to Russia. Airbnb has paused all operations in Russia. Disney has stopped the release of its films in Russian theaters. Ikea is closing all of its Russian stores. Nike is shutting down its Russian stores. Dell has stopped selling its computers in Russia. And Mastercard and Visa have suspended operations in Russia.
Meanwhile, Russia has blocked Facebook in the country and criminalized what it considers to be false reporting on the Ukraine invasion. As a result, CNN is no longer broadcasting in Russia.
The result of all of this is to make Russians much poorer and more isolated. While many Ukrainians are now fleeing Ukraine, many Russians are now looking into leaving Russia as well.
The West has imposed these sanctions on Russia in order to try to stop their invasion of Ukraine and prevent further Russian aggression. But keep in mind that the Russian people did not ask for this, and they’re now facing collateral damage.