Putin warned Russian living standards will plummet after Ukraine invasion

Russian ruble falls to all-time low following economic sanctions

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Moscow warned the West on Wednesday that it will hit back in response to a fresh round of sanctions targeting Russia’s oil and gas sectors. Dmitry Birichevsky, director of Russia’s foreign ministry’s department of economic cooperation, said: “Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses.” The US and UK announced bans on Russian oil, while the European Union is to end its reliance on Moscow’s gas.

The shockwaves from the Russian invasion of Ukraine will shatter living standards across the world, security expert Jonathan Jackson told Express.co.uk.

More than two million people have already fled Ukraine because of the conflict, according to the United Nations, in the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War 2.

Living standards here in the UK, and in Russia, will also plummet.

Mr Jackson, a senior teaching fellow in policing and security at Birmingham City University, told Express.co.uk: “The commercial isolation of Russia will have a negative effect on the Kremlin eventually, but not before damaging the living standards of most Russians.

“As with the sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussain and Iraq after the first Gulf War in 1991, it is the wider populations of teachers, doctors, postal workers, and students who will feel the effects of these sanctions, rather than the wealthy and privileged elites.

“Some have now begun to question whether punishing the people of a policed state, lacking any form of coordinated political opposition, should be the most effective response to a tyrant’s actions.

“In the often-complex world of geopolitics, those who have little influence over Putin’s war will suffer or be deprived far more than those who do.”

The Iraqi healthcare system was devastated by the sanctions imposed by the US government.

High rates of malnutrition, lack of medical supplies and diseases from a lack of clean water were all reported during the sanctions.

Denis Halliday was appointed UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq in September 1997.

He resigned the following year, ending a 34-year career with the UN, saying: “I don’t want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide.”

In 1998, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden cited the sanctions against Iraq as a justification for engaging in violence against Americans, claiming one million Iraqis had died in an effort “to destroy Iraq, the most powerful neighbouring state”.

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Back in Russia, Putin’s long-term investment into his country’s security services has brought about a steady decline in living standards for ordinary citizens.

As the ruble continues to plummet, the cost of living soars but salaries do not.

Putin — who claims to have a PhD in Economics — appears to be plunging Russia back into financial chaos.

The Russian President’s reputation rests on the perception of him as a macho strongman who banished the economic chaos of the Nineties following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Analysts predicted last week that the Russian economy will shrink by around 10 percent this year, and this could only worsen with further sanctions imminent.

Russia is experiencing a mass Western boycott — American Express, Barclaycard and Mastercard have all left the Russian market, supermarkets including Sainsbury’s are pulling out, and almost all independent news outlets have collapsed.

There is mounting evidence of dissent in the Russian population, with more than 13,500 anti-war protesters arrested since the first invasion.

Protesters risk up to 15 years imprisonment after new legislation banned “false” information about Russia’s invasion.

Consumers are being told to limit the number of items in their shopping baskets as sanctions start to bite.

Supermarket shelves are bare as the Russian population begins to realise the harsh reality of Putin’s invasion.

Yulia Shimelevich, a 55-year-old French tutor in Moscow, told the Daily Mail that her life has “already collapsed”.

She said: “All the luxuries that we had grown accustomed to in recent years — imported products and clothes — are already in the past.

“The hardest part will not be tightening our belts…. But separation from my son and a feeling of guilt in front of the whole world.”

Putin has claimed the economic sanctions will provide an opportunity for Russia to produce its own goods, but the growing discontent among Russian citizens seems support for his regime is declining by the day.

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