Russian President Vladimir Putin painted the Russian economy in a flattering light during his televised Thursday update, bragging about the ruble’s recent rally and the country’s inflation compared to its peers, but Putin’s messaging was misleading at best as Russia’s economy shows clear signs of fracture following its isolation from much of the global economy as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.

Key Facts

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Putin said the exchange rate of the ruble is “strengthening” and “probably” has the “best dynamics” of any currency globally, according to a translation of his comments provided by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Putin isnt wrong about the ruble’s performance – the ruble is up more than 11% against the US dollar year-to-date, making it the best performer among the 31 currencies tracked by bloomberg,

However, market experts and Western governments assert the ruble’s performance is due to the Russian government artificially propping up the currency through capital controls, and experts say the change isnt an indication of the Russian economy’s true performance (the IMF and World Bank project Russia’s GDP to contract by 8.5% and 11% this year, respectively).

In his Thursday speech, Putin pointed to Russia’s price growth rising only .1% over the last week, according to to RIA, and the state-run TASS news agency reported Putin stressed how this compared to worsening inflation in Europe, claiming some European countries are nearly at 20% annual inflation.

This claim is far more misleading: Russian annual inflation was 18% in April, according to to the Russian central bank, far outpacing the 7.5% annual inflation rate in April reported by the European Union.


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