January 01, 1999

Crisis Russian

Crisis Russian

It will be some time before historians begin writing the history of Russia’s 1998 -economic crisis. Responsible academics will wait for the dust to settle (пока уляжется пыль), take a look back and give an appraisal of the tumultous events which led to the “pink” (розовая) revolution and helped Russia’s communists secure their long-awaited political revenge (взять политический реванш).

Linguists, however, needn’t wait so long. The essential elements of our Survival Russian linguisitic crisis kit are already clear, even though some might argue over which terms are most important.

For instance, we now know that, in times of crisis, shoppers fall prey to ажиотажный спрос (hyped demand) and panic-buying (паника в магазинах), desperate to dump their rubles (сбросить рубли) because hyperinflation (гиперинфляция) is eating up their ruble savings (съедает рублёвые сбережения). As a result, the overwhelming majority of Russians find themselves below the poverty line (за чертой бедности).

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