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Ukraine crisis: Hundreds of thousands of Russian workers are “spoiled”

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on April 18: “According to our estimates, about 200,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs.”

Sobyanin said authorities last week approved a $41 million program to support jobs in the Russian capital. “First of all, the program is aimed at employees of foreign companies that have suspended operations or decided to leave Russia,” Sobyanin said.

Ukraine crisis: Hundreds of thousands of Russian workers are

About 200,000 employees of foreign companies in Moscow could lose their jobs. Artwork: Moscow News Agency

Hundreds of companies, mostly Western ones, have announced their shutdown or withdrawal from Russia after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine from February 24.

Mr Sobyanin said the newly approved program is expected to support more than 58,000 people who have lost their jobs. About 12,500 of these will be retrained.

Economists say the worst economic impact from Western sanctions will continue and predict Russia will fall into a severe recession.

Meanwhile, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said Russia plans to take legal action regarding the freezing of gold, foreign exchange and assets belonging to Russia, adding that such a step would require must be carefully considered and for a legitimate reason.

Foreign sanctions have frozen around $300 billion of Russia’s roughly $640 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves.

Ukraine crisis: Hundreds of thousands of Russian workers are

Smoke rises after attacks in Lviv, Ukraine on April 18. Photo: Reuters

Ukraine crisis: Hundreds of thousands of Russian workers are

Ukrainian soldiers and rescue forces inspect the area under attack in Lviv, Ukraine on April 18. Photo: Reuters

In the tense situation in Ukraine, the country said it had halted the evacuation of people from the frontline towns and cities in the east for the second day in a row, and accused Russian forces of blocking and shelling the escape routes.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on social media: “Unfortunately, there was no humanitarian corridor on April 18.”

The Kiev government has suspended humanitarian corridors several times in the past, but Wednesday’s announcement was the longest such pause.

Vereshchuk said Ukraine had long and difficult negotiations with Russia on several evacuation routes, especially from the coastal port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian authorities have urged people in the Donbas region to quickly move west to escape a large-scale Russian offensive to capture the region.

Ukraine also accused Russia of targeting evacuation infrastructure, including buses and a train station in Kramatorsk, where more than 50 people were reported killed in Russian air strikes.

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