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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Elders First

The rule "women and children -- and elders -- first" holds fast in any emergency situation. This includes the presidential election. Resulting from his most-recent flurry of legislative activity, the president's decree "On Measures for preliminary compensation to a special category of senior citizens for savings lost to depreciation from 1992 to 1995" coincides perfectly with the rule. In this case, the special category of citizen turns out to be those born before 1916.

However, namely because of their age, few of those 3 million pensioners over 80 years old and living on Russian territory today will likely even learn of the decree. How is an 80-year-old woman to enquire about money she has lost hope of ever recovering? Especially when she has to figure out where she placed her old bank book and then make her way to the nearest Sberbank branch ... And what about those who can no longer walk?

Reflecting these circumstances, the president's relatively effective and touching decree makes no call for executive organs, Sberbank or the Finance Ministry, to exert much of an effort in gathering up the necessary funds.

And concerning complete compensation to everyone who has lost savings due to inflation, there just isn't enough money in the budget [should that come about].

According to Inkombank president Vladimir Vinogradov, one of the schemes compensating lost savings may be to make the payments in U.S. dollars -- to prevent a sharp jump in inflation. Only time will tell how realistic all these measures are.