The New York TimesThe New York Times

War and sanctions threaten to thrust Russia's economy back in time

By Valerie Hopkins and Anatoly Kurmanaev

05 Dec 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Russia’s economy hasn’t collapsed due to sanctions, but Russian hopes that the country would economically modernize along Western lines have been dashed. The NYT provides an on-the-ground report.

KALUGA, Russia — Valery Volodin, a welder at a sprawling Volkswagen plant in western Russia, relaxed for most of the summer at his dacha, or weekend house, planting his garden and looking after his children. Volodin, 41, had little choice: The car factory closed down in March, joining more than 1,000 multinational companies that had curtailed operations in Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, he has been sitting at home while Volkswagen looks for a buyer. He goes into the plant, in Kaluga’s industrial zone, once a month to collect 50,000 rubles, about $800, a payment required by Russian labor law that is the equivalent of two-thirds of his previous salary.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content