Russia’s GDP: Since 2008, the GDP of Russia has stayed the same. Many Russians have seen a continual drop in their standard of living. The average monthly pension, for example, is now only $210 US per month, which is not enough to live on. Many Russian seniors are starving, as they don’t have enough money to buy food or pay for heating.
The Oligarchs: Russia’s wealth (e.g. its vast oil reserves) are siphoned off by Putin and his oligarchs (businessmen who have been given monopolies by Putin). They live in total luxury while the rest of Russia lives in misery and poverty.
Income Inequality: The distribution of wealth within Russia is so stark that Putin and his oligarchs have basically re-created the society that existed before the 1917 Russian Revolution with Putin acting as Czar Nicholas II and his oligarchs acting as Russia’s aristocracy (the dukes, counts, and princes). The czar and his aristocrats all lived in splendor while the masses slowly starved to death. It was this vast disparity in income that eventually turned the Russian people to revolt in 1917; and it may be the catalyst to foment revolution again at some point in the very near future. One can only hope that Putin’s unprovoked war with the Ukraine will push the Russian people to terminate him and his oligarchs!