Russia is technically going through a recession right now.
Following Western sanctions and falling oil prices, the ruble has plunged – as much as 8 percent Monday – and the country's economy has started shrinking in annual terms for the first time since 2009.
"With the current oil price, we expect things to get worse. There is no cause for optimism," said Dmitry Polevoy, chief economist for Russia and CIS at ING Bank in Moscow. "This is linked to sanctions first of all, oil and the panic we saw on the market in December. The damage to the banking system and consumer sentiment will take a long time to repair."
Tens of thousands of Russians have loans that are being dubbed as “contracts of financial slavery,” homeowners are staging protests in front of banks and President Vladimir Putin has canceled all New Year holidays for government employees.
In a nutshell, the country’s economy has never been this bad in five years and is about to get worse.
However, despite the grim situation, wealthy Russians don’t seem to be worried. And to prove everything’s as good as it has always been, they are posting photos of expensive red caviar on Instagram with the hashtag #WhatCrisis.
Looks like Russia has found its own version of “Rich Kids Of Instagram” in #WhatCrisis, don’t you think?