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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 20 January 2022

Here's just how bad the Russian crisis is... in three graphs

The Russian Rouble has lost 20% of its value today.

RUSSIANS WOKE UP to a message from their central bank chief today:

We have to learn to live in a different zone, to orient ourselves more towards our own sources of financing, and to give a chance to import substitution.

Basically, Elvira Nabiullina was telling the country to ‘suck it up’.

The rouble continued to free-fall today despite the regulator’s interest rate hike to 17% last night. The currency lost 20% of its value since the beginning of the week, compounding its 56% loss in the year to date.

“What’s happening right now, even in our nightmares we couldn’t have imagined this one year ago,” the deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Sergei Shvetsov told Interfax.

“The situation is critical. Unfortunately, we can’t always predict even the short-term prospects in our financial market. Many participants have found themselves in a difficult situation thanks to these events.

Believe me, the choice made by the board of directors of the central bank — it was a choice between really bad and really, really bad.

That’s not the end of the bad news. Other currencies have taken a crumble – of particular note, the Norwegian krone – and markets are all over the place. After Russia’s 1998 financial crisis, financial markets around the world felt the effects.

Here are three graphs which show just how dramatic today’s events have been.

How much would €1 cost in Russian Roubles? 82 Roubles. 

This shows the historical exchange rates from the past six months.

euro rouble

What about our neighbours in the UK? 114 Roubles.

This shows the historical exchange rates from the past six months.


And how about US$1? 65.60 Roubles. 

This shows the historical exchange rates from the past six months.

usd rouble

In fact, Russians have been hoarding American dollars in recent months because of fears of a crash.

Despite the reaction around the world, reporters on the ground in Moscow say the crash cause “barely a ripple” on primetime news last night. However, it became a focus point today.

There were also reports of shops being in trouble in the shape of harsh fines if they were caught displaying prices in currencies other than the Russian Rouble.

President Vladimir Putin has blamed the weakening of the Rouble on Western actions – including sanctions taken because of the situation in the Ukraine – against his country. He claims governments are trying to hang a new iron curtain.

There has also been blame placed on falling oil prices, with a barrel now down below $60. That is putting untold pressure on the Rouble because Russia’s economy is built on oil and gas revenues. In fact, they finance more than half of the State budget and Russia really needs prices to stay above $100 a barrel.

Read: No sympathy from central bank as Russians told to ‘get used to it’

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