An 81-year-old woman died soon after being detained for stealing three packs of butter from a supermarket on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, news reports said Wednesday.
The woman died at a police station in the island town of Kronstadt, news agencies Interfax and RIA Novosti reported. The cause of death is believed to have been acute heart failure.
Prices at supermarkets in Russia rose about 12 percent last year, according to the Federal State Statistics Service.
The ruble's devaluation and the Western food import ban are major factors driving up inflation in the country, and food prices this year are expected to show a similar dynamic.
The average monthly pension for senior citizens in Russia is forecast to be about 13,000 rubles ($200) this year, state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported in late December.