The US, EU, and the UK have put unprecedented economic sanctions and financial panelists on Russia over the Ukraine war, resulting in hundreds of international companies pulling out of the economy, local businesses going bankrupt, and foreign investment frozen.
Though the severity of civilians’ suffering in Russia is uncertain, the impact of measures has started showing off. With the cost of basic needs shooting off the roof, spiking joblessness, and many young educated Russians leaving the country, Russia’s economy is heading towards a long-term depression.
But, how is the most sanctioned nation in the world coping with the measures?
The Lack of Information and Reliable Media
The utter destruction of Ukraine cannot be seen by the people whose country is causing it. Most Russians depend on the state-run media to get information that only presents Putin’s message “a military operation welcomed by Ukrainians and sanitized for Russian consumption.”
Many citizens who do believe and protest against the atrocities of Russia are quickly rounded up and jailed. But, no amount of censorship can shield the global backlash and severe economic sanctions the country faces.
Starting from the long line for cash and now as more than 300 international companies, led by the tech industry and payments are pulling up stakes and pausing operations in Russia. From fast-food chains to electronics and automobiles, these are some of the major companies switching operations in Moscow.
The closing of over 800 MacDonald marks the biggest closure. But, in the long run, it is the common Russian civilians who will face unemployment brought about by Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The Backlash Against Sports and Art
After Russia’s invasion last week, there has been a global backlash against sports and the arts. But do these restrictions matter to Russians who are now considering their future as Western airspaces close, their currency declines, and censorship intensifies?
On the eve of the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, Russia had its athletes barred, and their footballers won’t be playing Poland this month. In addition, concerts from around the world have been cancelled in Russia.
Consumer prices rose 2.2% in the first week following the invasion, with food the fastest–rising item. As a result, the cost of groceries and dairy has increased multiple folds.
As of yet, the Russian leaders have defied the wave of sanctions aimed at crippling their economy if they do not change course. A severance of sporting and cultural ties will intensify pain and evoke bitter memories of decades of Cold War division.
It has been ostracized almost universally in the world of sports. A last-minute U-turn marked Russia’s absence from the Beijing Winter Games by officials.
Athletes from Russia have been barred from competing at the world championships this year, as have their figure skaters, in which the country excels. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a keen judoka, was suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federation.
Russia’s football clubs and national teams have been barred from all international competitions four years after hosting the World Cup. The leading Russian club Spartak Moscow has also been eliminated from the Europa League.
Skyrocketing Price of Basic Necessities in Russia
In February, cereal and sugar prices were already about 20% higher than a year ago. According to the Russian state news agency Tass, some retailers have agreed to limit price increases on some staples to 5%. However, others restrict the number of basic items a customer can purchase, like flour, sugar, and oil.
Some consumer goods have dramatically increased in price – The cost of smartphones and televisions has risen by more than 10%, while an average Turkish vacation has jumped by 29%. Whereas major brands such as Apple, Ikea, and Nike no longer sell their products in Russia.
Pavel, a university lecturer, living with his wife and two children in Moscow, was looking for appliances to furnish his apartment. After the war started, some prices increased by nearly 30%. Within a day of Ikea’s closing, he managed to buy a refrigerator, cooker, washer, and kettle and ordered a bed and a cupboard.
The symbolic significance of McDonald’s closing its 847 restaurants has not gone unnoticed in Russia – it was among the first Western companies to open in the Soviet Union thirty years ago. The announcement was met with thousands of advertisements from Russians reselling food from its restaurants for as much as ten times what it costs normally.
Russia: The Feeling of Powerlessness
But how much will Russians be affected by being cut off from sport and culture?
Apparently, the sanctions and boycotts in the West will cause Russians to lose their freedom to travel and enjoy music, concerts, and culture.
Do you think it’s naive to believe that depriving Russians of these things will change their views?
On many economic and media fronts, Russia has been completely sealed off from the rest of the world. Furthermore, in Russia, speaking out is dangerous – thousands of antiwar protesters have been arrested while the government continues to wage war.
“Russians are not very supportive of the (Ukraine-Russia) war.”Contacting Global News, a teacher from Russia states,
But, will Russia’s sufferings and setbacks make the president change course or cause him to escalate the attack even more?