On Thursday, December 10th, Interfax reported on the findings of the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation (Rosstat). The data indicates that the number of poor in Russia from January to September 2015 increased by millions of people and reached 20.3 million.
2.3 million Russians joined the poverty line this year. The total poverty rate in the country amounted to 14.1%, an increase of almost 2% compared to the year 2014. The largest number of poor in 2015 was in the first quarter of the year (15.9% or 22.9 million people). In the second quarter, the poverty rate dipped to 14% (20.1 million). Rosstat explains that the number of poor is highly seasonal because year-end bonuses are paid in the fourth quarter.
On December 9th, Bloomberg reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin relied heavily on the willingness of the population to endure hardship for the sake of their own peace of mind. Meanwhile, the economic situation in Russia is not expected to begin improving in 2016.
Russia's economic woes have deepened this year as a collapse in oil prices and western sanctions have sent the economy spiralling into contraction.