Russians start feeling the heat of Ukraine war sanctions

Mar 2, 2022, 3:20 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2022, 1:53 am
FILE - People walk past a currency exchange office screen displaying the exchange rates of U.S. Dol...

FILE - People walk past a currency exchange office screen displaying the exchange rates of U.S. Dollar and Euro to Russian Rubles in Moscow's downtown, Russia, Feb. 28, 2022. In the days since the West imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, ordinary Russians are feeling the painful effects — from payment systems that won't operate and problems withdrawing cash to not being able to purchase certain items. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — In the days since the West imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, ordinary Russians are feeling the painful effects — from payment systems that won’t operate and problems withdrawing cash to not being able to purchase certain items.

“Apple Pay hasn’t been working since yesterday. It was impossible to pay with it anywhere — in a bus, in a cafe,” Moscow resident Tatyana Usmanova told The Associated Press. “Plus, in one supermarket they limited the amount of essential goods one person could buy.”

Apple announced that it would stop selling its iPhone and other popular products in Russia along with limiting services like Apple Pay as part of a larger corporate backlash to protest the invasion.

Dozens of foreign and international companies have pulled their business out of Russia. Major car brands halted exports of their vehicles; Boeing and Airbus suspended supply of aircraft parts and service to Russian airlines; major Hollywood studios halted their film releases; and the list will likely keep growing.

That’s on top of the United States and other Western nations hitting Russia with sanctions of unprecedented breadth and severity. They have thrown major Russian banks off the SWIFT international payment system, limited high tech exports to Russia and severely restricted Moscow’s use of its foreign currency reserves.

Russians in Moscow and other cities talked to The AP about how those moves have played out in their daily lives, pointing to problems with converting rubles into foreign currency, long lines at ATMs and certain bank cards failing them.

Irina Biryukova in Yaroslavl, in a city about 250 kilometers northeast of Moscow, said she could only deposit a limited amount of money into her bank account through the bank ATMs.

“The majority of ATMs (of this bank) don’t work to deposit (money),” Biryukova said.

Food prices, according to some businesses, have started soaring, too.

“All the main ingredients we prepare our products from have gone up in price by 30-40%,” said Ilya Oktavin, who runs delivery service at a Perm sushi bar.

Certain goods are also harder to come by because of actions by companies like Nike, which on Tuesday night halted online sales with a statement on the company’s website saying it “can’t guarantee delivery of the goods to shoppers in Russia.” On Wednesday, H&M announced suspending “all sales” in the country.

Kremlin critics are painting a bleak picture for Russia.

“We’re facing growing prices, mass layoffs, delays in payment of benefits or pensions,” opposition politician Yulia Galyamina wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “Shortages of medicines and medical equipment. Aging and impoverished car and aircraft fleet. … We’ll be remembering the 1990s as hardly the worst time. But I have only one question: for what?”

In what looked like an effort to prevent panic, Russian authorities on Tuesday launched a special website, titled “We’re explaining,” that talks about how various areas of life are functioning under the pressure of sanctions. Worrying reports, like the ones anticipating a spike in prices, or saying that certain services don’t work, are debunked on the website as “fake.”

Some Russians, in the meantime, say that it’s not so much the sanctions that worry them, but the deadly attack Russia waged on a neighboring country.

“You know, sanctions bother me the least. I’m worried about Russia killing people in Ukraine,” said Moscow resident Ivan Kozlov. “I wish it stopped the war no sane person with a conscience and capable of mercy and compassion in Russia wants.”

Anti-war sentiment in Russia has been widespread. Thousands of people have signed open letters and online petitions demanding to stop the invasion, with the most widely supported online petition garnering over 1 million signatures in several days.

Russians across the country have been taking to the streets almost every day since the attack started last Thursday. More than 7,000 protesters have been detained in the past week, according to OVD-Info, rights group that tracks political arrests, with nearly 600 arrests taking place on Wednesday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Bear cub rescued after getting head stuck in plastic jug

HARWINTON, Conn. (AP) — Wildlife biologists in Connecticut had to rescue a bear cub that got its head stuck in a plastic container, state wildlife officials said. The misadventure happened June 23 when a mother bear with three cubs knocked over a garbage can in the town of Harwinton in Litchfield County, and one of […]
10 hours ago
A passenger jet streaks toward a landing at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va, Thursday even...
Associated Press

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

The July Fourth holiday weekend is off to a booming start with airport crowds crushing the numbers seen in 2019, before the pandemic. Travelers seemed to be experiencing fewer delays and canceled flights early Friday than they did earlier this week. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.4 million travelers at airport checkpoints on […]
10 hours ago
A passenger jet streaks toward a landing at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va, Thursday even...
Associated Press

Pre-pandemic sized crowds descend on US airports for holiday

The July Fourth holiday weekend is off to a booming start with airport crowds crushing the numbers seen in 2019, before the pandemic. Travelers seemed to be experiencing fewer delays and canceled flights early Friday than they did earlier this week. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.4 million travelers at airport checkpoints on […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Essence Festival allowing negative COVID tests for admission

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In a major reversal of policy, the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture said Friday that it will allow attendees to show a negative COVID test result for admission to its ticketed concerts in the Superdome and other events. Previously, Essence had said proof of a COVID vaccination was mandatory for admission. […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

New York legislative text detailing new gun rules released

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers are reviewing a bill released Friday to remove a barrier to getting a concealed carry handgun permit in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling, while also placing new restrictions on who can get a permit and limiting where people can carry firearms. Gov. Kathy Hochul released the […]
10 hours ago
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2021, photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inm...
Associated Press

Execution dates scheduled for 6 Oklahoma death row inmates

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday set execution dates for six death row inmates, just hours before an attorney for one planned to ask for a rehearing in his case. Execution dates for James Coddington, Richard Glossip, Benjamin Cole, Richard Fairchild, John Hanson and Scott Eizember were scheduled, starting […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Russians start feeling the heat of Ukraine war sanctions