"New Poor Russians": Russian Poverty Is Changing Its Face

A new socio-economic class has recently emerged in Russia-"New Poor Russians". These are actively working people who paradoxically enough are unable to provide for themselves.
2,137 rubles constitute today's minimum wage established by the Russian government. According to experts, this is nothing but a real poverty threshold. Despite official government statistics, 30% of the Russian population are poor and another 35% are meager. The remaining two thirds barely has means to survive. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged his shame for such miserable existence of majority of the Russian people.
According to "Gazeta", the Committee of Social Politics of the Federation Counsel has attempted to calculate the amount of poor people in Russia. Official statistics relies heavily on the established minimum wage of 2,137 rubles. According to the information acquired from the State Committee of Statistics, there are 23,3 % of Russians who live on the poverty threshold. Independent sources provide a more detailed picture. According to the latest results of the "Public Opinion Fund", there are as much as 65% of those desperately struggling to survive.
Senators and experts however, oppose both the initial minimum wage as well as the actual poverty criteria in the country.
"It is absolutely impossible to survive on 2,137 rubles," stated Igor Kamenskoi, vice president of the committee. "Those whose salary 1,5 times greater than the current minimum wage, have to be considered poor since they are capable of satisfying only their primary needs." David Shavishvili, director of the Institute of Social Politics of Labor and Social Relations was blatant in addressing the issue. "It has been socially accepted that those earning less than the minimum wage are labeled poor in our country. In the West they are considered meager. Poor people are those whose income doubles the minimum wage."
According to experts, about 35% of the Russian population can easily be considered as meager, 30% as poor and the remaining 5% as wealthy and super wealthy. 
A "face of poverty" is changing however. It used to be that only veterans, invalids, singe mothers and pensioners comprised the poor class of the country. A new class of the so-called "New Poor Russians" is on the rise. These New Russians are active workers who are absolutely unable to provide for themselves. According to official paperwork however, peoples’ total income keep increasing.
In reality however, everything remains the same. 
This reminds me of an anecdote:
-We have improved our living standards, stated the government
-We are happy for you, people replied.

Artem Sviridov
Source: North-West currier

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Author`s name Andrey Mikhailov