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Crimean Subsistence Sum 30 Percent Less Than Mainland Russia

Crimean regional authorities estimated that local inhabitants can subsist on 5,786 rubles ($125) a month, or nearly 30 percent less than the national average.

Crimea's regional Labor and Social Protection Minister Yelena Romanovskaya said the "low level of the subsistence minimum in Crimea is due to the fact that prices for basic foods on the peninsula are much lower than in [nearby] regions," according to remarks cited on the Crimean administration website on Tuesday.

The subsistence level is the amount of income that is considered necessary to cover the most basic needs of a person living in a given country or region.

The head of Crimea's administration, Sergei Aksyonov, has proposed that local officials test whether it would be possible to survive on the subsistence level they had estimated, according to the government statement.

"Conduct an experiment [to see] whether it's possible to buy the necessary minimum of foods every day on that money," he was quoted as saying. "Is it possible to stay within that sum?"

Crimea's subsistence sum is slightly higher for residents of a working age, who are expected to be able to survive on 6,211 rubles ($135) a month. It is lower for children, at 5,884 rubles, and retirees, at 4,780 rubles per month.

Russia's national average is 8,086 rubles, according to the administration's statement. According to data from Russia's Pension Fund, the subsistence level for retirees has been set at 6,312 rubles per month in the nearby southern region of Krasnodar, and at 6,350 rubles per month in the Rostov region, where many of Ukrainians seeking to escape the violence in the east of their country between pro-Moscow separatists and government forces have fled.

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