One year ago, on March 16, Russia orchestrated an illegal referendum in Crimea that violated the Ukrainian constitution and was condemned by the international community. This is the third of a five-part series on the costs Russia’s actions have imposed on Crimea. The first sums up the situation one year after Russia’s occupation. The second focuses on forced disappearances.
Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine, has always been a hotspot for summer tourists, boasting such famous visitors as Russian short-story writer Anton Chekov, American author Mark Twain and the Russian imperial Romanov family.
Since Russia’s occupation in March 2014, Crimea has seen the number of its visitors drop by 45 percent — a tough statistic to live with when the income of one in three Crimean families depends on tourism.
Other sectors of Crimea’s economy have also suffered as a result of Russia’s occupation.
In 2014, Crimea’s inflation rate hit 42.5 percent — the second highest rate in the world after Venezuela. The cost of food in Crimea in December 2014 rose 50 percent compared to the previous year, with the cost of items such as eggs, meat, flour and fruit up more than 60 percent. In the same year-long period, as a result of these rampant inflation rates, Crimeans’ salaries shrank in real terms by 8.5 percent.
Other hardships include capital investments in Crimea, which fell 77 percent during the first five months of 2014, and unemployment, which rose by almost 4 percentage points in the year. The construction industry in Crimea, a key part of its economy, declined by 34.2 percent during 2014. Since Russia’s attempted annexation, nearly all business in Crimea is conducted in cash due to Crimea’s defunct banking system.
Learn more about the costs of Russia’s actions in Ukraine by following #UnitedforUkraine.