NEWSLINK CNN: “Dining under Putin: How sanctions are fueling a Russian food revolution”

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“Import bans have failed to put the kibosh on Russia’s culinary inventiveness. Restaurants are returning to what Russia does best, such as traditional dishes made with root vegetables such as beetroot.”

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Putin: Russia Did Have People in Ukraine Doing ‘Certain Military Tasks'”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Reuters covers Russian President Vladimir Putin’s admission at a press conference that Russian personnel are present in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, even while disputing whether that meant regular Russian troops were present. … Putin said … Russia did have personnel in eastern Ukraine who were carrying out certain military tasks but denied Moscow had deployed regular troops …. ‘We never said […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: “Kremlin’s beef with Turkey hits Russians at home – and on holiday”

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

The acrimony between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian bomber in Syria has cut Russians off from Turkish produce, and reduced their vacation options to boot.

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NEWSWATCH CNN: “Russia’s middle class: We don’t blame Putin.”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

CNN reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political standing and the reaction by the Russian citizenry to the impact of sanctions, embargoes and economic downturn. Russia’s middle class has had a tough time recently, but they aren’t blaming … Putin for it. [In addition to restrictions on certain travel and imports] … The ruble has lost more than half its […]

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Russians Turn to Bartering in Economic Recession

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – December 2, 2015) An economic recession and soaring grocery prices have prompted Russians to go online to trade household items for food, with scores of websites facilitating a barter system cropping up around the country. Russia’s main social network, VKontakte, has an array of online groups, targeting various cities, where local inhabitants […]

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Foreign Investors Complain About Russia’s Unpredictable Laws

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 20, 2015) Unpredictable lawmaking is undermining Russia’s ability to attract foreign investors, the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) – a group of the biggest foreign companies working in Russia – told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday. A report by financial services group and FIAC member EY (Ernst & Young) into […]

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Russians More Concerned About Economy Than Ukraine – Poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 2, 2015) Economic crisis and the resulting poverty, inflation and growing inequality are more important to Russians than the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, a poll conducted by the independent Levada Center revealed on Monday. While the civil strife in eastern Ukraine still features on the list of Russians’ top 10 concerns, it was […]

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‘Mass Murder:’ Russian Patients Brace For Ban On Medical Imports

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Claire Bigg – August 23, 2015) When Yulia Koptseva heard about a Russian government plan to ban a range of foreign-made medical goods, she had a single, urgent thought: “I want my daughter to live.” That was also the poignant comment she left on an online petition that has gathered almost 10,000 signatures against the proposal, […]

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Shopping Spray: Loutish Russian’s Beer-Biting Patriotism

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Anna Shamanska – August 22, 2015) Stas Baretsky is foaming at the mouth about banned Western goods in Russia. As the food-destruction craze over banned Western goods continues in Russia, the St. Petersburg Orthodox Union of Cossacks and a very large former band member have joined in. The group went to a local store of the […]

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Interfax: Embargoed food destruction backed by 42% of Russians, 38% against

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – Most Russians (83%) are aware of the destruction of embargoed food smuggled into Russia from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway, the Public Opinion Foundation has said. Russians have mixed feelings about the decision made by the authorities: 42% say the embargoed food needs to be destroyed, and 38% claim the […]

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Poll: Banned food better be given to needy, orphans

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Interfax – August 13, 2015) Forty percent of Russians have backed the authorities’ decision to destroy embargoed food, while the number of opponents is a bit higher (48 percent), the Levada Center has told Interfax on Aug. 13. In the opinion of the respondents, the food would better be given to orphanages, homeless shelters or hospitals (43 percent) or be […]

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VIDEO: Conversation: Russia’s Perfect Economic Storm

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Stratfor.com – August 11, 2015) Video Transcript: Ben Sheen: Hello and thank you for joining us. My name is Ben Sheen, I’m a managing editor here at Stratfor, and with me today is Stratfor’s senior Eurasia analyst, Lauren Goodrich, who will be talking to me about the state of the Russian economy. So Lauren, Russia is struggling at the moment. […]

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Russian Official Lauds Condom Restrictions

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos, Anna Dolgov – August 6, 2015) A senior Russian official has praised plans to restrict condom imports as part of a drive to reduce reliance on foreign-made goods, suggesting Wednesday that a dearth of the rubber contraceptives will make people more “disciplined” and boost birth rates. Fewer condoms will make people “more strict […]

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Russians cheesed off as authorities destroy ‘EU’ food

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews- August 6, 2015) Nine tons of presumed EU-made cheese seized after entering Russia from Ukraine were bulldozed into the ground on August 6 as officials enforced Kremlin orders to destroy prohibited Western products, despite protests from citizens struggling with rising food prices. The first batch of hundreds of tons of food earmarked […]

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Russians split over destruction of banned food imports

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Russian is to destroy confiscated Western food products that fall under the Russian embargo at the border starting from August 6. According to the presidential decree, embargoed foods will be destroyed both at the border and after being seized from stores. However, some observers are calling on the government not to destroy the products, but give them to the needy. […]

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Russian Food Prices Stabilize After Months of Racing Inflation

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 3, 2015) After a year of skyrocketing food prices that have forced many Russians to spend less on what they eat, the cost of many categories of food has finally begun to stabilize or fall, official data show. Food price inflation has been one of the harshest consequences for ordinary Russians […]

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RBTH: Seventy percent of Russians opposed to compromise on sanctions – report

According to a new Levada Center opinion poll, 70 percent of Russian citizens believe that Russia should not make any sanctions-related concessions, even though a third of the population has admitted that sanctions are a problem. However, despite these difficulties, Russians continue to back President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity rating has never been higher. Experts have several theories for why […]

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Interfax: Extension of Russian countersanctions for one year meets interests of national economic development – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – The extension of Russian countersanctions for a year meets the interests of the country’s economic development, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Our interests, I mean the interests of the Russian Federation from the viewpoint of the economic development of the country,” he said to journalists answering the question in relation to what Russia […]

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Russian Cabbage Prices Triple as Much-Loved Staple Falls Victim to Inflation

Red Cabbage and Green Cabbages, adapted from image at pnnl.org

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 27, 2015) The cost of a cabbage in Russia has almost tripled in less than six months. The Russian staple – and a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as the famous shchi soup – leads the field among foods suffering from inflation because of huge ruble devaluation in 2014 and […]

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Millions of Russians Edge Toward Poverty as Economic Pressure Mounts

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 13, 2015) Clutching two plastic bags full of clothes she had just collected from a charity center in central Moscow, Svetlana Burkutskaya said that rising prices were making it harder for her to find enough money to put food on the table for her three school-age children. “There is not sufficient […]

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Will Putin Rescue Greece’s Tsipras?

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 7, 2015) As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepares for talks with President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow beginning on Wednesday, experts, officials and European leaders have been left guessing whether the two men might hammer out an economic deal. The meeting was announced less than a month ago […]

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Six steps to return Russia to economic growth. The Russian economy is under pressure: it’s time for an alternative.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(opendemocracy.net – Kirill Rodionov – March 9, 2015) Kirill Rodionov is an independent journalist. From 2008 to 2013, he was a Research Fellow at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, Moscow. Follow him on Twitter: @k_rodionov In late January 2015, the Russian government adopted an anti-crisis programme. The plan includes a number of measures intended to provide sustainable development of […]

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Over 70% of Russians feel economic crisis effects – poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – February 24, 2015) The share of Russians acknowledging the ongoing economic crisis has grown to 71 percent, from 62 percent in January, the Public Opinion Foundation said. Some 14 percent of 1,500 respondents polled in 100 populated localities in 43 regions on February 14-15 claim they do not see any signs of a crisis (down from 20 percent […]

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Putin Lets Consumers Feel Pain as Russian Slump Deepens: Economy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – February 15, 2015) Russian households are bearing the brunt of the blowback from the crisis in Ukraine and a tailspin in oil prices, setting the stage for the biggest drop in consumption in more than two decades that will deepen the country’s recession. Crushed by a 44 percent slump in the ruble in the past […]

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Don’t Expect Bread Lines From Russia’s Crisis

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – February 6, 2015) Despite dire economic forecasts, Russia will escape high unemployment and social unrest this year thanks to an exodus of migrant workers, clever politics and a flexible shadow economy, analysts said. Officials are braced for layoffs. Russia must “prepare for the fact that people will become unemployed,” Deputy Prime Minister […]

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The Battle for the Siberian harvest

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky – November 28, 2014) Georgy Borodyansky is an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save the harvest. But it won’t save them. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save […]

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Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In 1977, he published a book […]

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Russian agricultural production soars after food sanctions

Field of Grain file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) When Russian President Vladimir Putin cut off European Union imports of agricultural products earlier this year, one of the rationales was to give a boost to the badly underdeveloped domestic sector – and it seems to working. September’s retail and investment numbers were down but agricultural production soared by 16.8% year-on-year […]

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Putin’s import substitution policy is working

Field of Grain file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) When Russian President Vladimir Putin cut off European Union imports of agricultural products earlier this year, one of the rationales was to give a boost to the badly underdeveloped domestic sector – and it seems to working. September’s retail and investment numbers were down but agricultural production soared by 16.8% year-on-year […]

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Interfax: Muscovites say food embargo doesn’t hamper food quality or assortment – poll

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – October 7, 2014) Food quality and assortments have not changed amid Russia’s retaliatory “food embargo” but prices have gone up, Muscovites told the Public Opinion Foundation. Two-thirds (66 percent) of 1,000 Muscovites polled over the phone on September 28 approved of the ban on food imports from a number of Western countries, 21 percent criticized that step and […]

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Ruble’s Fall and Food Import Bans Send Inflation Ever Higher

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 6, 2014) Year-on-year inflation hit 8 percent in September, driven up by the plummeting value of the ruble and Russia’s bans on many food imports from the United States and European Union, according to data from state statistics service, Rosstat. Rising food prices were the main driver, climbing 11.4 percent year-on-year in September, up […]

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Consumers Stay Away From Moscow’s Malls as Sanctions Deepen Russia’s Slump

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2014) Nearly 25 percent fewer people visited Moscow’s malls in the week leading up the start of the school year than in the same period of 2013, a survey said, indicating that Western sanctions and an economic slowdown are hitting Russian consumer demand. A report by consumer market research firm Watcom cited by […]

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Interfax: Russia dramatically reduces imports of sanctioned products from non-CIS in August

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Russia dramatically reduced imports of products that are under the food embargo in August compared with July. The food embargo was imposed on August 7, 2014. According to the Federal Customs Service (FCS), vegetable, dairy, poultry and pork supplies declined the most dramatically. So, in August the cost of imports of vegetables amounted to $35.3 […]

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Poll: Most Russians Would Sacrifice Booze and Cigarettes to Hurt West

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) More than 70 percent of Russians would ban imports of booze and cigarettes from Western countries in retaliation for sanctions, but few would give up foreign cars or pay an additional tax on vacations abroad, a recent poll indicated. Other popular measures included blacklisting foreign hotels (supported by 77 percent) and banning […]

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Moscow’s Food War With West Could Hurt Russia Most

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL Explainer – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – August 21, 2014) Moscow’s sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives. Here are four things to know […]

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Russian Farmers Will Need Years to Fill Gaps Left by Food Ban

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – August 15, 2014) Russian politicians have declared the recent bans on Western imports a golden opportunity for Russian agriculture – but farmers and economists warn that upping production is a question of years, not months, and closing the market will not be enough to solve its problems. Against a background of international […]

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Interfax: VTsIOM: Western sanctions unnoticed by over 90 percent of Russians

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Interfax – August 15, 2014) Most Russians are aware of sanctions imposed on their country but the sanctions seem to have gone unnoticed by an overwhelming majority, sociologists told Interfax. Some 92 percent of the respondents said the Western sanctions had not harmed them, 4 percent spoke about a price rise and the others mentioned the freeze of accounts, the […]

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Business New Europe: Sanctions “unbearable” for EU, will be cancelled in 3 months

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Danske Bank – August 13, 2014) We analyse the economic and financial impact of the Ukrainian crisis with a special focus on our footprint Nordic markets. We view the situation in Ukraine as far from de-escalating as fighting continues in Donetsk and Lugansk, which we expect to weigh on market sentiments near term. However, […]

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Fewer Russians Worry About Inflation Despite Predictions of Higher Food Prices

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 13, 2014) Fewer Russians are concerned about inflation than they were a month ago, a new poll published Tuesday showed, even as analysts warned recession was inevitable and that a ban on many foreign food items would push up prices for consumers. The state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center found that between June and […]

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RIA Novosti: No Grounds for Food Price Hikes in Russia – Deputy Prime Minister

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday that a possible food shortage and a resulting imbalance in food prices that could occur in the country’s westernmost exclave could easily be compensated by Belarus. “There is a case in particular [of price imbalance] and that’s the Kaliningrad region, which is extremely close to Belarus, […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia not planning to close air transit route across Siberia – minister

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(RIA Novosti – August 11, 2014) Russia is not planning at present to stop western airlines from flying across Siberia, Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov has said. “Do not worry, there is no decision being taken on this just yet,” he replied when asked by journalists, RIA Novosti news agency reported on 11 August. The newspaper Vedomosti reported last week that […]

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Russian Foodies React To Import Ban With Patriotism, Some Gloom

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL  – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, August 7, 2014) Moscow’s upmarket food shoppers are reacting variously with patriotic approval and gloomy resignation at the prospect of going without some of their favorite foreign foods for a year. The Russian government on August 7 approved a lengthy shopping list of foods and produce that cannot be imported from countries that have imposed […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia’s Food Embargo ‘Smart’ Response to Western Sanctions – U.S. Economist

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

WASHINGTON, August 7 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Russia’s food embargo is a smart move on Moscow’s part that is set to show the United States and its allies that Russia is not going to give in to Western pressure, an American economist and co-director of a US-based research center told RIA Novosti Thursday. “It is smart of Moscow to […]

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