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08/27/1998 08:48:08 Rouble panic spreads to Russian regions

Пост обновлен 28 авг. 2018 г.

VLADIVOSTOK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Russia's rouble panic spread

across 11 time zones on Thursday as citizens tried to exchange

their currency that was worth less with every passing day.

In Yakutsk and Yekaterinburg, St Petersburg and Vladivostok,

exchange booths refused to part with dollars at any price, as

Russians rushed to cash in their rouble savings for hard

currency.

In the southern Urals industrial city of Chelyabinsk, where

striking coal miners blocked the trans-Siberian railway over

unpaid wages last month, government officials were unable to

withdraw their own rouble salaries from the bank.

"Our local administistration uses cash machines to get our

salaries. Yesterday there was a (withdrawal) limit of 200

roubles and today the automatic teller machine is empty," said

Salim Fatykhov, the governor's spokesman.

In Vladivostok, Alexei, a local government employee, said he

had withdrawn his whole savings from the Sberbank state savings

bank and was trying to find somebody who would buy his roubles

for dollars on the black market.

"At the exchange points all the dollars have already been

sold," he said.

In Yekaterinburg, capital of the Urals region, small crowds

of mainly elderly people lingered in front of exchange points

that were shut.

"Some more time will pass, things will get quiet again, and

the state will find a new way to take our money," said a 40

year-old man who described himself as a "representative of

Russia's middle class" trying to swap roubles into dollars.

Reuters correspondents reported similar situations in

Russia's second city, St Petersburg.


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