Russia’s economy is reeling after the country was hit with severe sanctions by the West in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. While the ruble has staged a sharp recovery in the past month and returned to pre-war levels, the central bank has said sanctions will inflict significant economic damage this year. Today (April 29), the county’s central bank cut its key interest rate to 14 percent from 17 percent.
It has been juggling a shrinking economy and skyrocketing inflation since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Economists are now expecting the economy to shrink by double digits and inflation to rise between 18 and 23 percent later this year.
Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier this month via an interpreter, a Russian journalist, who did not want to be identified, forecasted a massive collapse for his country’s economy.
He claimed that, in six months, Russia would come to a “standstill” with terrible repercussions for the country’s people.
Read More: Huge fire in Moscow after car explosions
Speaking to Express.co.uk the journalist said: “Right now, what is happening is the whole economy is coming to a standstill.
“In about half a year things will just collapse.
“It’s not happening now but in the next half year, if things continue the way they are, things will get really, really bad, really, really quickly.
“I’m interested in myself as a journalist, how people will respond to this, and what their reaction will be.
In the aftermath of Putin’s invasion, the Kremlin criminalized independent war reporting and also made it illegal to protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Civilians could face up to 15 years in prison for spreading “fake news” about the Russian armed forces and their deployment in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, western sanctions have cut off Russia from the western world, an isolation which echoes the Soviet Union.
However, according to the journalist and photographer, much of the Russian population will be unconcerned by the country’s regression to a Soviet-like past.
He said: “There is a nostalgia within Russian society, especially among the older generation that times in the Soviet Union were much better.
“I think that’s the case because they’re a bit deluded.
“They were young, they were fit, they were healthy, and they’ve forgotten. Your memory romanticizes the past to some extent.
“A lot of them are living in this nostalgia but it’s a fake one they’ve invented in their head. It’s not the reality.
“They were young fit men capable of looking after themselves, so those hardships could be put away in their minds.
“If Russia right now is regressing to a Soviet Union then it’s a really bad copy, because at least in the Soviet Union there was a sense of stability, there was progress, there was a mission, there was a plan and there was a structure in place.”