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How does sanctions change Russian life?

Russian consumer prices increased by as much as 2.2% in the first week of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. Food has the highest gain. Some stores have had to restrict sales of essential items after reports of hoarding emerged.

Although drugs are not on the list of sanctioned drugs, because large transport companies stop providing services, the quantity of drugs supplied is also affected.

The ruble has plummeted since the Russian-Ukrainian fighting broke out, prompting retailers to raise prices.

Prices skyrocketed

Daria, a resident of Moscow, said she has not yet seen empty shelves.

“The food isn’t going away, but it’s much more expensive. I can’t imagine how much more expensive it will be and I dread the thought of it.”she shared.

Jan, an EU citizen living in Moscow also has a headache when the price increases gallop.

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Western sanctions push up the prices of many goods in Russia. (Photo: BBC)

“On February 20, I ordered some groceries for 5,500 rubles (about 47 USD), now it has increased to 8,000 rubles ($ 74).“, said Jan, adding that drink prices have doubled in the past two weeks.

Sugar and cereal prices in February increased by 20% year-on-year.

News agency TASS said some retailers have agreed not to raise prices by more than 5% on some essential items. Others are restricting the amount of essential goods that people can buy such as wheat, sugar and cooking oil.

Rising prices caused Daria to start hoarding. “I bought 4 liters of sunflower oil, 4 liters of olive oil and 4 bottles of whiskey”, Daria said.

She also ordered some medicines she needed to take for herself because some of the brands had become harder to buy recently.

Not only food, the prices of electronic items such as smartphones and TVs also increased by more than 10%.

Daria considered buying a laptop for a long time but decided to buy it when the price skyrocketed.

“At the beginning of February, it was around 70,000 rupees ($610), but by the end of the month it had increased to 100,000 rupees ($869) – the same price I paid for it. Then it went up again. 140,000 rubles (more than $1,200) before stock runs out in Moscow”said Daria.

Famous brands leave

Last month, Pavel – a university lecturer considered buying furniture for his house in Moscow.

At the time when the Russo-Ukrainian fighting began, causing the prices of some items to skyrocket, Pavel closed the purchase of refrigerators, stoves, and kettles and ordered beds and kitchen cabinets not long before Ikea closed.

Following in the footsteps of Ikea, McDonald’s – one of the first Western brands to open stores in the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago – closed all of its 847 restaurants in Russia.

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McDonald’s closes more than 800 stores in Russia. (Photo: Reuters)

Within hours of this announcement, thousands of ads for the resale of McDonald’s dishes appeared at 10 times the price, along with the offer: “Get your nugget and apple pie before McDonald’s closes. Last chance to taste foreign flavors.”

But there are also people like Vladimir, from Saratov, who say they are yet to feel the impact of the sanctions.

“The Kremlin supporters will not be affected by the drop in the ruble. The reason is because they do not buy and sell foreign goods.” Vladimir said.

One of the heaviest sanctions imposed by the West on Russia is its exclusion from the SWIFT international payment system.

The Central Bank of Russia forecasts that the economy will shrink by 8% due to the impact of sanctions.

“The situation has had a huge impact on our business. The number of customers is down. Many people are asking us to refund our membership costs. Rent, equipment and cleaning costs have all gone up.“, said Natasha, who works in bodybuilding.

She predicts many businesses like her will have to close because they cannot find domestic manufacturers to replace imported equipment.

Ekaterina, who runs several language schools, said the sanctions got her in trouble.

“Our teachers come from many different countries. Currently, we are unable to pay their salaries because the trading system is frozen. Students in the US, Germany and Latvia are also unable to pay their classes. cost us. We managed to get through, but now every working day begins with facing new crises.” Ekaterina said.

Zoom is not currently banned in Russia, but she is worried about the future of this application being blocked.

With Natasha, she was tired of getting used to the change.

“Earnings are affected, having to build a new lifestyle, reducing connections, even on social networks. There’s a lot of things we lose that we still don’t understand why.“, Natasha said.

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