Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday that the Russian economy has entered a vicious downward spiral as Russia’s energy-centric economy continues to suffer from falling oil prices, Western economic sanctions, and a severely weakened ruble.
“Today, I can say that we have entered or are entering a real, full-fledged economic crisis. Next year we will feel it clearly,” said Kurdrin.
The ruble’s value has fallen over half this year. “But a drop of 10 percent on Monday and another 10 percent on what has come to be known as ‘Black Tuesday’ further shook consumers,” Politico Magazine reported on Sunday.
The falling ruble has sparked a buying frenzy in Russia as consumers look to retain what little buying power the ruble still has left. Big ticket items like cars have been flying off lots. Apple’s iPhone 5S is currently selling $100 cheaper than in the US; on Tuesday, Apple.Ru halted sales.
The Russian economy’s collapse has also increased fears and reported cases of suicide. According to Politico, “the Moscow Psychological Help Service announced free consultations for those suffering from the effects of the economic crisis.”