Top Russian Officials Are Starting to Realize That the Country’s Economy Is in Big Trouble

October 8, 2014 4:04 PM

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Top Russian Officials Are Starting to Realize That the Country’s Economy Is in Big Trouble

MOSCOW—You wouldn’t know it from the Chanel boutiques and Maserati dealerships lining the boulevards inside Moscow’s Garden Ring, but economic conditions in Russia are becoming dire. The ruble has weakened to record lows not seen since the 1990s, capital is bleeding out of the country for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, and the economy is projected to grow a piddling 0.5 percent this year.

You wouldn’t realize any of this from the statements of Russia’s president. At a forum last week, Vladimir Putin ensured investors that the country has enough reserves to implement all of its budget proposals, including an $80 billion increase in military spending next year. The president certainly ...

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