Economic misery

putin skating

The Russian economy is in a dire state, hammered by low oil prices, Western sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine, and years of mismanagement.

GDP is set to contract by as much as 5% this year, and inflation is soaring.

But President Vladimir Putin remains optimistic. In his annual phone-in interview with Russian citizens Thursday, he said the economy will be growing again in just two years.

First published April 16, 2015: 12:07 PM ET
Source: Text by Ivana Kottasova, images by Sofia Ordonez, Kacy Belew and Dominic V. Aratari

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