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Russia: Human rights commissioner warns Putin of increasing poverty rate

8 22.03.2016 Инфо

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Ella Pamfilova in Moscow, Tuesday.
During the meeting, Pamfilova warned Putin that the poverty rate in Russia was increasing. "The poverty rate began to increase: over the past year three million more people ended up in poverty. But when there was not such a high level of poverty, the gap was still growing constantly. And even in the last years of the Soviet Union in the 1990s the gap [between poverty and wealth] was 4.5 times, now it is about 16.5 times," she said, before adding: "The maximum was reached in 2013, it decreased slightly this year, but if the trend does not reverse itself, it can reach 20 times by the end of 2017. This is a very big gap and it determines a number of negative factors."
Pamfilova highlighted corruption as a leading threat to Russia. "The most relevant threat is related to national security, which directly affects the most important human right - the right to life. And here in addition to terrorism we can mention corruption. The high level of corruption leads to a high number of tragedies, this includes in construction and so on," she stated.
President Putin responded by noting that "one of the main tasks of social policy is the organisation of targeted assistance to those population groups who need government assistance
New state statistics revealed that almost 15 percent of Russians are now living on wages that are considered to be below the poverty line. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center revealed data which suggests the number of poor Russians reached a 10 year high in 2015.