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Russia: President Putin under threat as he faces unexpected domestic dilemma

Vladimir Putin has received some severe criticism about how he and his officials are running the Russian economy. There is now one specific problem they are facing.

The Government has been accused of trying to cover up the rising rate of inflation. The current official figures put the rate of inflation at 4.7 percent but in a report published by Rosstat, the state statistical agency has disputed that figure. Rosstat specifically referenced food, especially cabbage - a staple of the Russian diet - which has increased seven times faster in the last year.

Moreover, the report also stated that everyday goods such as eggs have risen by six times the official rate of inflation. Moskovsky Komsomolets, a newspaper that is usually supportive of the Government also savaged the officials for supposedly lying about the true rate of inflation in the country.

The tabloid said: “They are pulling the wool over our eyes. It’s as if these products came from another planet! Why do we need a method of calculating inflation that no one, not even the authorities, believes? There’s no point in indulging in illusions.”

Adding more speculation that inflation rates have been altered, Russians had also found that certain supermarkets had also begun to reduce the number of eggs sold but still charge the same price.

Millions living below the poverty line
Last month in Putin’s annual conference with the public, the President promised to stop the rising poverty in the country whereby 20 million people live below the poverty line. According to officials at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Administration, the 20 million does not reflect the true figures. Experts have instead stated that in fact, a quarter of the population of Russia’s estimated 144.5 million actually lives below the line.

Following the economic difficulties within the country, Putin has suffered his worst approval rating since he took office in 2000. In a recent poll, Putin has fallen to 30 percent. That rating is down from 33.4 percent in 2015 according to the data shown in January.


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