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80% of Russians Feel Country's Economic Decline, Says Poll

Some 82 percent of Russians can feel the effects of the country's economic decline, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing a report by independent pollster the Levada Center.

The number has risen from the 61 percent who felt the pinch back in the fall of 2014.

Almost one in five respondents (17 percent) have had problems with delayed wage packets, while 16 percent expected delays in the coming months.

Some 18 percent said that that they relied on help from the state — a level not seen since 2008.

Many Russians also believe that economic instability will be long-lived, with 25 percent of respondents saying that they expected the crisis to “be very long.” Another 21 percent said that they expected the economic decline to last at least two years, while 17 percent estimated that it would last a year and a half.

"This data is more relevant to the psycho-emotional state of people than to the actual economic situation,” secretary of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FITUR) Alexander Shershukov said, Kommersant reported.

The Russian economy, hit by Western sanctions and weak oil prices, contracted by 3.7 percent in 2015. The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 0.9 percent in the first half of this year, while the economy contracted across almost all sectors, a report by Moscow's Higher School of Economics (HSE) revealed in August.

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