Russian People Suffer As Invasion Continues
The key to ending this war in Ukraine may be in the Russian people themselves.
From CBS News. Theimposed on Russia for its invasion of are already wreaking havoc on the lives of ordinary Russians, who can only expect things to worsen in the days and weeks ahead, experts say.
The measures announced by the U.S. and its allies over the weekend include targeting the ability of Russia’s central bank to support the country’s currency, the ruble,against the U.S. dollar on Monday to less than 1 cent. It regained some ground after Russia’s central bank more than doubled its key interest rate to 20% to shore up the currency.
The developments had Russians facing the prospect of higher prices and curtailed foreign travel as the ruble’s plunge had nervous depositors flocking to banks and ATMs. Posts on social media relayed reports of long lines and machines running out of cash.
Long lines at ATM’s in Moscow today as the ruble lost over a quarter of its value to the dollar amid new western sanctions on Russia’s banking sector. pic.twitter.com/rvfjGfMR9h
— Charles Maynes (@cwmiii3) February 28, 2022
At least half of Russia’s estimated $640 billion hard currency stockpile is now frozen, according to European officials.
Russia’s central bank on Monday hiked its key interest rate to 20% from 9.5% in a last-ditch effort to stem a run on banks. That means Russian homeowners with mortgages or business owners who’ve taken out loans could get socked by the doubling in rates, analysts say….
Deprived of basic items and facing runaway inflation, “we’re going to start to see public unrest,” Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, told a conference call on Monday.
“It’s going to ripple through their economy really fast,” David Feldman, an economics professor at William & Mary in Virginia told the Associated Press. “Anything that is imported is going to see the local cost in currency surge. The only way to stop it will be heavy subsidization.”
The wide-ranging sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and its allies is akin to “an economic siege, and I don’t think the Russian economy can stand it,” Weinberg said.
“If we have three weeks of what is happening today to the Russian economy, it’ll be over,” Weinberg said. “My gut feeling is that the Russian economy cannot survive three weeks of this without failing altogether….”
Russian consumers may be able to get food, but the country’s farmers may not be able to get replacement parts for their equipment, offered Weinberg.
The auto sector, a major employer, is “being hit very quickly with the ban on the import of microchips and other parts,” said Chris Weafer, chief executive of Macro-Advisory, a Eurasia strategic advisory company.
Weinberg said he’s “relieved” that China is not trying to neutralize the damage being inflicted on Russia, which the economist said could be accomplished by Russia selling all its exports to Beijing….
How are you praying for the Russian people?
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