Russia’s economy in dire straits as poverty to ‘triple’ in country

Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine has provoked the West to hit Moscow with sanctions in the hope that it can weaken President Vladimir Putin. Not only have Russian banks been targeted, but oligarchs close to the Kremlin and even members of the Russian government themselves have had their assets frozen abroad. But, with the wider Russian economy being severely impacted, it is likely that ordinary people will be most affected. Former economic adviser to Putin, Andrei Illarionov, predicted in April that poverty levels in Russia could double or even triple as a result of the country’s economic isolation.

The economist warned that Putin will prioritise his aim to boost Russia’s power around the world, adding that this comes before the “livelihoods of Russian population”.

Mr Illarinov also argued that Russia is likely unable “to increase or even to sustain the income of the population” because it no longer has the resources to do so.

Speaking to the BBC, he added: “It is absolutely impossible to have any positive future for Russia with the current political regime.”

He continued, saying there is “no way” that Russia can be reintegrated into global markets after what it has done in Ukraine.

Various bodies have also painted a bleak picture of what is to come for the Russian economy.

The Institute of International Finance predicted earlier this year that the Russian economy will contract 15 percent by the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, The Centre for Strategic Research, based in Moscow, warned unemployment could become a big problem in Russia, estimating that two million jobs may be lost.

This week, Data for Progress Senior Adviser Aidan Smith added that Russia’s economy is “only growing weaker”.

He told Sky News Australia: “Its main power comes in the form of still having the world’s largest nuclear stockpile and being able to effectively bully the rest of the world.”

Yale economists also released a study last month which claimed the Russian economy is facing “economic oblivion” and is being “crippled” by sanctions.

READ MORE: Nuclear horror: Timeline set for Russia to ‘launch strike’

The Saky air force base is located 200km (124 miles) away from the frontline, but was the setting of explosions earlier today.

Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at St Andrews University, tweeted today explaining why the strike was important.

He said: “What the Ukrainians are doing is extremely important. By showing they can hit Crimea, they will further stretch Russia defensive capabilities.

“The Russians are going to have to protect a huge area behind the front lines.”