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    February 27, 2015

    Partial Food Rationing Introduced in Kiev


    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    Many Kiev supermarkets have introduced limits on the amount of food products that can be purchased by a single individual.

    As products from the so-called “social group” have grown more expensive over the last several weeks, the retailers are introducing limits on purchases.

    The limits have already been adopted by several supermarkets.

    A single individual can make a one-time purchase of:

    --2 bottles of sunflower seed oil
    --2 packages of buckwheat
    --3-5 kg of flour (depending on the store)
    --3-5 kg of sugar (depending on the store)

    Many chain stores have posted announcements concerning the limitations.

    There are no limits on bread, potatoes, milk or meat products. At the same time, the variety of products from these categories has considerably narrowed recently.

    Ukraine is also experiencing a rapid growth of food and gasoline prices. Price monitoring has noted an increase of vegetable prices by 13-18%, bread and pasta products by 3-5%, sugar by 2-%, and fuel by 18%.

    J.Hawk's Comment: This kind of thing deserves close scrutiny. Food prices and, especially, food shortages are the one factor that is guaranteed to bring out millions into the streets against a government. We'll soon see whether it's a temporary problem induced by the spike in the hryvnya and the resulting panic buying, or a harbinger of worse problems to come. 

    From the political perspective, this is the reason (not a reason, but THE reason) I believe Kiev will not resume fighting any time soon. IMF credits are now a matter of life and death for Kiev, and IMF does not like to credit countries who undermine their own creditworthiness by waging civil wars.

    Which is not to say there will be "peace."
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