Sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin’s sweeping invasion of Ukraine have led to nationwide fuel shortages and some normally easily available items are now in short supply.
Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Russia has been subject to more than 13,000 restrictions. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace notes that this makes it the most sanctioned country in the world.
The impact is being felt across the country, with support for the war falling as Russians feel the financial squeeze caused by sanctions. That’s according to a poll released by an independent organization in Moscow a year after the conflict began.
Even Kremlin propagandists lamented the impact of sanctions on Russia.A segment on the show with TV anchor Ivan Trushkin Firstridge Square (meeting place) In December 2022, he asked a guest why Russia could use different currencies such as dollars and euros “but because of these sanctions we can’t spend them on the things we want.”
The video was shared by Ukrainian internal affairs adviser Anton Geraschenko, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “We can buy what we want. We can’t buy what we need, “Sanctions are in place,” he added, referring to Russia’s predicament.
Nine months on, the restrictions are having an increasing impact on Russians’ daily lives.
Konstantin Sonin, a Russian-born political economist at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, said Weekly newspaper He believes Russian media reports of shortages are a clear signal that the government is trying to suppress prices. This is accomplished either through some regulatory measures or through threats of retaliation against businesses and sellers.
Sonin said: “Western sanctions have seriously disrupted the Russian economy. At least they have increased the production costs of Russian companies.”.
“As a result of sanctions, the Russian military industry pays more for every foreign input because it now includes paying extra fees to middlemen, incurring the costs of circumventing laws, and incurring more losses to thieves and scammers as any hidden transactions are Fertile ground for theft.
“Sanctions cannot destroy the Russian economy – sanctions are not missiles or bombs – but they will slow down production and reduce Russian output,” Sonin added.
Russia, one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, is facing a nationwide fuel shortage, according to officials and state media.
“Russia has an ongoing, widespread, and systemic fuel distribution problem,” Trent Telenko, a former official at the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency who studies Russian military logistics, wrote on X on September 9.
August 23, Russian newspaper Izvestia There are reports of gasoline shortages at gas stations across the country. This happens in the cities of Astrakhan, Volgograd, Saratov, Ryazan and Novosibirsk, as well as in the Republic of Kalmykia.
Days later, on September 6, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said fuel shortages could disrupt autumn harvesting and planting.
“We’ve had availability issues [of fuel]. We will now stop harvesting and we will not sow winter crops. State news agency Intermix quoted Patrushev as saying, “This would be a disaster. Maybe it is time to temporarily stop exports of oil products until the situation in the domestic market stabilizes.”
Russian oil and gas analyst Mikhail Krutikhin told Russian Independent newspaper new paper Due to sanctions, oil companies have found it more profitable to sell all their products abroad.
“That is, export as much as possible and at least get some money there,” Krutihin said. “Also, this is happening across the country; even in the Far East, people are starting to feel fuel shortages. They are exporting everything they can.”
However, Thorning added that in a market economy, “there is no possibility of a ‘fuel shortage'” because “it would lead to higher prices, but because of higher prices there would be less demand, so there would be no shortage.”
Large Russian publishing houses have been forced to switch to domestic paper, which is in short supply. Sergey Moiseyev, chairman of the Periodical Publishers Association, revealed this to 360 TV channel late last month.
“All printing is sanctioned, absolutely everything… not only paper, but also ink, and worst of all, equipment spare parts, because all equipment is imported,” Moiseyev said. Papermaking also requires foreign machinery, he added. “Chemicals used in paper making are imported, so prices go up.”
Moiseev added that while there was a shortage of paper, he wouldn’t call it a catastrophic deficit.
Russian wood processing companies are facing shortages of phenolic resin, a key ingredient in the production of plywood, and are urging the government to restrict exports of the substance, the daily reported. Kommersant Reported in May.
Plywood is used for walls, roof linings, ceilings, furniture and cladding. Sveza, Russia’s largest plywood manufacturer, said the shortage became particularly apparent in April.
cell phone tower
According to local media reports, mobile phone signal reception in Russia has been affected due to shortages of equipment and parts caused by Western sanctions.
After the comprehensive invasion of Russia, foreign telecommunications companies such as Nokia and Ericsson have withdrawn from Russia, but domestic mobile phone signal tower equipment cannot yet meet the requirements of Russian operators.
Analysts say this, among other factors, “forces operators to operate with unprecedented equipment shortages” Kommersant.
Five senior telecoms executives and other industry sources told Reuters in December 2022 that Russian mobile phone users may experience slower download and upload speeds, increased dropouts and inability to connect, and longer outages.
A spare parts supply crisis is brewing in Russia, with logistics companies facing shortages of tires and lubricants for imported tractors.This comes as Western manufacturers leave Russia in response to Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, business news outlets Knowledge Reported in May.
Researchers at Yale University say more than 1,000 foreign companies have exited or scaled back operations in Russia since the war began.
“When Western tire manufacturers left Russia, transport workers were forced to look for any alternative. At the same time, the problems of timely deliveries and maintaining necessary inventories were pushed to the background,” said Sanjar Ashuraliev, CEO of transport company Delko. told the publication.
The aviation industry has also been affected by Western sanctions. Kommersant It was reported in May that Russian airlines carried out 2,000 flights in 2022 using Western aircraft with expired parts.
“We have recorded many cases of irregular operation of aviation equipment, which directly affects flight safety,” said Viktor Basargin, head of state transport regulator Rostransnadzor. “There are certain products that are simply impossible to introduce.”
As a result, the Russian aviation industry has been plunged into a full-blown crisis, causing disruption to its commercial fleet and creating additional challenges for maintaining its air force.
Other important components
Analysts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., found in April that Western-imposed sanctions also led to a shortage of ball bearings in Russia, which had a knock-on effect on the production of military vehicles. .
In April 2022, Swedish bearing manufacturer SKF Group stopped all business and operations in Russia due to the war in Ukraine. It has been operating in the country since 1991.
“Historically, Russia has imported most of its high-quality bearings from Western manufacturers,” CSIS analysts said. “For example, in 2020, Russia imported more than $419 million worth of ball bearings, about 55% of which were of original origin. In Europe and North America; Germany is Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 17% of total imports that year.
“After the invasion began, major Western bearing producers withdrew from Russia and ended sales in Russia,” analysts said.
Western sanctions have created a shortage of high-end foreign parts and forced Moscow to replace them with lower-quality alternatives.
“For now, Moscow’s efforts at state-backed import substitution remain largely unsuccessful,” the analysts added.
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