Every month the Russian Federation spends billions of roubles to provide for their puppet groupings of “LPR” and “DPR” which are considered to be terrorist ones in Ukraine. Every two months pension payouts on the occupied territory exceed the annual budget of, for example, Russian Kursk. The so-called “humanitarian convoys” take a considerable part of the Russin budget, as Radio Liberty informs.
The cost of “humanitarial convoy” may be calculated
Humanitarian aid has been delivered by Russia to Donetsk and Luhansk since the summer of 2014. So far, there have been no attempts to calculate the cost of the cargo of white “KamAZ” vehicles for Russian tax payers. The Russian government has not presented any official information though answered in social networks to scrupulous “Novorossiya' supporters, “Saved lives are priceless. Remember that, those who are cynical”.
There was no data to calculate in the past. However, “LPR” “LuhanskInformCenter” has started publishing the lists of the aid delivered by 46 convoys by the end of November.
The published data does not look complete. For exaple, the convoy which came to Luhansk on November 19 consisted of 45 trucks. Each of them could transport from 16 to 20 tons of cargo, but the average vehicle loading was 10 tons as there was information that these “KamAZ” and “Volvo” trucks had brought 457 tons. However, even those understated figures may be used as the starting point for calculations though not exact.
Out of those 457 tons, 452.5 are presented in detail: canned fish — 43.5 tons, canned meat — 46 tons, canned milk — 33 tons, sugar — 82 tons, pearl barley —16 tons, rice — 21 tons, buckwheat — 19 tons, barley grits — 56 tons, wheat groats —40.5 tons, semolina — 9.5 tons, oat flakes — 60 tons, peas — 26 tons.
The prices at which the food was bought are not known, but it is quite logical to expect that they were within the price range typical of organizations and agencies in Russia. That is why IS-Zakupki.ru portal— the largest tender and purchase agregators in Russia — was used for calculations.
Minimum 4 billion
Th calculation was oriented at the prices offered to budget organizations of Central and Southern Federal Disctricts: humanitarian convoys are partially compiled in Noginsk near Moscow and partially in the Rostov region. The prices taken for calculations were not the highest ones, still, the total sum is impressive — the cost of the part of the cargo delivered to Luhansk should be more than 32.4 million roubles.
More or less detailed descriptions of humanitarian goods started in August, 2015 when the 36th “convoy” came to Luhansk. Thus, it is possible to calculate the price of 10 colums for 2 months. Besides the above mentioned products they brought salt, wheat and rye flour, pasta, millet, tea, and sunflower oil. Totally, it is 4800 tons for 336.9 million roubles.
15 times more food products are usually delivered by “KamAZ” trucks to Donetsk.
Thus, the total cost of food products in the last 10 convoys may be about 842 million roubles. If to assume that at the beginning the products delivered were the same, then, since August 2014, 45 convoys of trucks have delivered food for 3,789 billion roubles.
194 tons of midicine which have been delivered since March (there is no information on the prices) have not been included into the calculations. The same about 640 tons of seeds, building materials, 366 tons of textbooks and a lot of other things, for example, equipment for separatists' emergency situations service or equipment for the so-called “LPR” ministry of the interior. According to informal information, the equipment was delivered from China.
According to approximate calculations, the cost of the 'humanitarian convoys” may have been 4 billion roubles though it may be too low as some “convoys” consisted of 120-140 trucks.
More than that, there are pensions!
However, even those expenses are like a drop in the ocean compared with other expenses connected with “Novorossia” as it is Russia that have to provide the residents of the occupied territory with pensions and social payments.
Where does the money for pensions come from on the territory controled by “L-DPR”? Why are they paid in roubles? These questions have been asked by journalists for a long time. Yevheniy Manuylov, “LPR” “minister of finance” said that pensions are paid out in the currency which the taxes are paid into the budget of the “republic”. In March 2015, both “republics” introduced a multy-currency system with hryvnyas, roublrs, dollars, and euros in circulation.
Still, where do the taxes come from? According to businesspeople who try to work on the territory of the so-called “republics”, industry has not been restored completely and operates at one-third of its pre-war capacity. Big coal amalgamations continue their work, They belong to Rinat Akhmetov's empire, such as “DTEC Rovenkiantratsyt” and “DTEC Sverdlovantratsyt. However, after the scandal connected with the detention of Dmitriy Lyamin, “LPR” grouping “minister of fuel and energy”, it became known that these businesses do not pay taxes to the “LPR” budget, so they do not finance pensions.
After the two months of regular pension payments, Plotnitskiy reported that his “government” had paid out 2 billion roubles, i.e. 87% of what was needed, in other words, a billion a month. Since that time the sum must have increased as retired IDPs started to come back in summer being informed that pensions were paid out. In October, on the territory controlled by “LPR”, there were 417,000 retired people, and by “DPR” - 640,000.
The government” in Donetsk says that they had paid 14.4 billion roubles for 7 months from April to October. According to Halyna Sahaydakova, who heads the “DPR” “pension funf”, they paid out 2.3 billion roubles in October.
5 annual budgets of Kursk, 3 of Belhorod, 2 of Voronezh
There have been rumours that the money is brough by the same humanitarian convoy white “KamAz” vehicles from Russia. Nobody could confirm it; there was only indirect evidence.
A Bloomberg journalist has heard information about Russian money from two “officials” of separatists' “administration”. According to them, 2.5 billion roubles come from Russia to Donetsk monthly, to pay out pensions.
Thus, a monthly trunche to two pro-kremin groupings may reach 3.5 billion roubles. By the end of the year, Russia's pension expenses will have been 31.5 billion roubles.
At the same time, Russian currency has lost 40% of its value for the last year. Partially it happened due to the decline of world oil prices. According to Russian economists, Russian economy will decrease by 4.4 % this year.
The cost of the occupied territories of Ukraine is a significant factor. Nevertheless, the question “What is the price of Novorossia for Russia”? is open. The cost of military equipment and ammunition and the money paid to militants was not taken into account. The sources are unknown.
Besides, there are indirect losses due to the sanctions on the part of the world community. According to Aleksey Kudrin, former minister of finance, these losses ammounted to 1.5% of the GDP, as Russian BBC Service informs. It is about 1 trillion roubls which Russian Federation pays for the agression against Ukraine in the Crimea and the Donbas.
In September, the “chairperson of the DPR state bank” Irina Nikitina told Bloomberg journalist that separtists do not feel any decrease of Russian financing. However, in October and November, both groupings delayed payments of pensions. Both of them explained that it was due to “technical problems”.
Though 3.5 billion roubles is not a cinsiderable sum of monet compared to the huge feederal budget of Russia (15 trillion roubles), it seems to be like this only at first sight.
Let us compare 4 billion spent on “humaiitarian convoys”, 31.5 billion spent on pensions for “L-DPR” and the annual budget of Rostov-on-the Don with budget of 35.2 billion roubles, Voronezh — 14.9, Belgorod — 9, Kursk — 5.8. Thus, by the end of the year, the RF will have spent 5 Kursk annual budgets or more than 3 Belgorod budgets or more that 2 Voronezh budgets on pensions of “Novorossia”. It is not so small.
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