On Monday, the Russian currency broke all-time lows, trading in the morning at 100 against the dollar and 109.4 against the euro.
Bad memories of the 90s
This plunge reawakened in many Russians, already stressed by the conflict, the memory of the financial instability of the 1990s, when millions of people saw their bank savings evaporate under the effect of the devaluation of the ruble and the ‘inflation.
As soon as I learned that the ruble had collapsed, I ran to my bank, obviouslysays Ms. Prochina, a client of VTB bank, the second largest institution in Russia after Sberbank, both targeted as part of the sanctions announced by Western countries in recent days.
A former Soviet television journalist, Natalia, 75, was about to
remove [ses] under so as not to lose all his fortune againas it had already happened to it during the financial crisis of 1998.
We had then lost all our money, including everything my husband had earned during [une mission] abroadshe recalls.
” I no longer want to play these games with the State (…) which can easily declare martial law at any time and confiscate my savings. »
In the name of the war with Ukraine, exclaims the ex-Soviet propagandist in a martial tone.
In front of the entrance to this same bank located in the center of Moscow, Alexander Zouïev, 40, waits his turn to be received by his adviser.
I think that withdrawing cash would be very reasonable in the current contextstates this elegant manager in culture.
” Everyone has to support themselves because no one knows what will happen to the country. »
Behind him, Eduard Syssoïev, a 51-year-old retired soldier, is losing patience. He says he was unable to withdraw cash from another branch of the bank.
He thinks that% of Russians will rush to withdraw their rubles to convert them into dollars, real estate or outright gold”,”text”:”90% of Russians will hurry to withdraw their rubles to convert them into dollars, real estate or outright gold”}}’>90% of Russians will rush to withdraw their rubles to convert them into dollars, real estate or outright goldeven if no massive panic movement was observed on Monday.
” It is the population that will pay for this military banquet. »
Another Muscovite, Rustam Yakovlev, also expects general panic.
Although the central bank [de Russie] assure you that everything will be fine, people will panic and withdraw their moneyanticipates this 50-year-old engineer.
Myself, if I had any, I would have removed everythinghe said.
The Central Bank announced Monday to raise its key rate very sharply by 10.5 points, to 20%, after having tried since Thursday to
stabilize the situation with interventions in the foreign exchange market.
Same scenario in Saint Petersburg
In Saint Petersburg, about fifteen people were waiting Monday morning for the opening of an agency of the Russian subsidiary of the Austrian bank Raiffeisen.
Among them, Svetlana Paramonova, 58, says she wants
withdraw her money to keep it at home.
It’s safer, since we no longer understand anything about what’s going onshe summarizes.
Beside her, Anton Zakharov, 45, wants to do the same, having
no more confidence either in power or in banks.
The instability of the national currency rate caused by heavy Western sanctions will lead to
lower the standard of living of Russians within a yearaccording to Alexei Vedev, an analyst at the Gaidar Economic Institute.
But the discontent of Russians boils over only if their standard of living drops three times from the current statetempers Sergei Khestanov, an adviser for macroeconomic issues of the broker Open Brokers.