Russian President Vladimir Putin recently faced an astonishing question by a common Russian citizen who asked if he could live on $170 a month. Putin was visiting Saint Petersburg when he was approached by a woman who took him by surprise with her question about social problems. According to international reports, she asked, “Please tell me, is it possible to live on 10,800 rubles ($170)?”. This question was answered by the Russian President who said, “I think it's very hard”.
However, in the brief conversation, the woman further pressed on Putin and said, “your pay is probably about 800,000 rubles, I imagine”. Again, he replied in affirmation but added that he does not have the highest salary. Furthermore, the woman tried to corner Putin and cited grocery store costs at least 1,000 rubles in Russia and utility bills were nearly 4,000 rubles. During this unprecedented conversation, Putin then confessed that the woman is right and mentioned that there are “still a lot of social problems that the government has to solve”.
When the woman took the conversation ahead after Putin admitted that his country having social problems, she asked “why don't you solve them then?” to which the Russian President said, “we are solving them”. According to an international media agency, Russia has been hit by high food inflation in recent years. However, it has reportedly shown signs of levelling off but it has taken a toll on the common man on the streets.
The food inflation had fallen in 2018, but then rose by five per cent at the end of the same year. It further recovered at three per cent last year due to a good harvest. But, it has still fluctuated in the last several years, leading to an escalation in the hardships faced by the common citizens. According to statistics by Trading Economics, the unemployment rate in Russia has risen to 4.7 per cent in January 2020 from 4.6 per cent. Furthermore, last year it was the highest jobless rate since April with 4.9 per cent of unemployment.