Russians believe that the number of poor in the country is significantly more than reported in official statistics which say 20% of the population is poor. According to the recent survey conducted by the Public Opinion fund only 5% of respondents believe that less than one-third of the population is poor, down from 10% in July 2001. Today 30% of those questioned believe that 31-50% of the Russian population is poor. 15% consider that 61-70% of the country's residents are poor and 15% think 71-80% of Russians are living in poverty. In addition, 8% of respondents believe the entire Russian population is living in poverty.
The government plans to reduce the number of poor in the country by 50% over the next four years. Nevertheless, 61% of Russians do not think the government will be successful in reaching its goal. Meanwhile, 19% of respondents said the government would achieve its aim. The poor relate the most pessimistically to the government's achieving its goal.
The head of the Russian Finance Ministry, Anton Siluanov, said that the Americans would suffer additional losses if they impose sanctions on Russia's public debt