December 17, 2014

The economy of Russia is in a lot of trouble, and so is the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.


The value of the Russian currency, the ruble, has collapsed to a historic low. And, the government has hiked interest rates all the way from 10.5 percent to 17 percent. That means ordinary people can’t afford to buy most imported products, travel abroad, or borrow money for big purchases.

Russia depends on oil exports, so lower oil prices have hurt. So have economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies as punishment for Russia’s meddling in Ukraine. President Putin is still very much in charge, but some analysts say his grip may loosen if things don’t get better soon.

  • US President Barack Obama is not helping Putin out. The White House signaled yesterday that the president will sign a bill authorizing another round of economic sanctions against Russia, plus some military aid to Ukraine in its fight to keep out the Russians.

Story photo: Reuters