As Russia's ruble hemorrhages value, more than 40 percent of Russians are unable to explain why the currency is depreciating, even as the majority admit that it is bound to impact their lives, a poll published Friday showed.
The ruble continued its months-long slide on Friday, falling 0.6 percent against the U.S. dollar by evening. The ruble has collapsed more than 20 percent against the dollar this year under pressure from a plunge in oil prices, a strong dollar and Western sanctions over the war in eastern Ukraine.
But when Russian citizens were asked what was behind the currency's fall, 41 percent couldn't provide an answer, a study by state-run pollster the Public Opinion Foundation found.
Of 1,500 respondents, 23 percent blamed United States and European Union sanctions against Russia for pushing down the ruble.
Another 10 percent pointed to the war in eastern Ukraine; 8 percent blamed problems in the Russian economy, which is running close to zero growth this year; and 6 percent said spoiled relations with the West were responsible.
Only 5 percent pointed to the falling oil price. Brent oil was below $90 dollars per barrel on Friday, down from a high of $113 in July.
Nonetheless, a majority of respondents expect to be affected: 41 percent said they believe changes in the ruble exchange rate will have an "acute" impact on their lives, while another 20 percent anticipate a "weak" impact.
The survey was conducted in 100 towns and cities across Russia and had a margin of error not exceeding 3.6 percent.