Ukraine Foray Is Costing Russia Dearly
Ilan Berman breaks down the cost of Putin's adventurism
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 21, 2014 2:48 PM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Easter service in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, early Sunday, April 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin's approval rating has jumped 10 points during the Ukraine crisis, to 72%, according to the state polling group. But that could change when Russians see what their adventure there is really costing them, Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council writes in the Wall Street Journal. Here are the ways Russia is hurting:

  • Almost $51 billion flowed out of the country in the first quarter of 2014, according to new statistics from the Central Bank of Russia.
  • Russia's economic development industry expects the economy to grow less than 1% this year—down from an earlier estimate of 2.5%. The World Bank predicts the economy shrinking almost 2%; that would amount to about $30 billion in lost production.
  • Gazprom might regret jacking up gas prices for Ukraine, because that may permanently cost it a major customer. The Ukrainian government has already issued a temporary stop on purchases.
  • Russia will pump $7 billion into economic aid for Crimea, which is a lot even if you consider the resources it's gained by annexing the peninsula.
  • One financial analyst is predicting a total capital flight of $160 billion this year.
  • And none of that is counting the blows to Russia's international standing—including its ouster from the G8.

"The longer the crisis over Ukraine lasts, the higher the economic costs to Russia are likely to be," Berman concludes. "Sometime in the not too distant future, it might become considerably more difficult for the Kremlin to continue to ignore the real-world price that is associated with its policies." Click for Berman's full column.

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Showing 3 of 53 comments
Apr 27, 2014 12:19 PM CDT
Don't we wish Obama had a 72% approval rating? The only thing I can figure is Putin is trying to help his country, while Obama is playing golf and vacationing in his.
Apr 23, 2014 1:54 PM CDT
Let's make Russia the world's potato farm.
Apr 23, 2014 11:39 AM CDT
Economically it would be far better to let the Ukraine go to Russia, the Russianss would then have to take over all of Ukraines debt, would also be obliged to give Ukraine all the Gas Ukraine needs. The costs assosciated with that would far outweigh the $7 Billion it will cost Russia to absorb Crimea. Russia is estimated to have reserves of some $400 Billion plus they are the largest holder of USA Currency.