Ordinary Russians Are Furious About Putin's New Food Sanctions

Russian shoppersREUTERS/Mikhail VoskresenskA market stall in Moscow on Feb. 8, 2013.

On Thursday we learned that Russia will ban the imports of meat, dairy, fruit, and some vegetable products from the West.

Many believe the sanctions will only end up hurting ordinary Russians.

As it happens, ordinary Russians also believe this.

“The move provoked an immediate internet backlash, with Russian Twitter users predicting a return to the empty shelves and queues for food that characterised the collapse of the Soviet Union,” The Telegraph reported.

Here’s what they were talking about.

“Russians walk by empty shelves: ‘How about that!'” Kirill Martynov tweeted.

One site posted a photo comparing what it said was the well-stocked imported cheese grocery aisle, left, and the scantier domestic aisle, right.

User “Elena the Translator,” who’s been retweeting negative reactions to the news, simply said, “God, how awful everything is.”

The world-renowned Russian gallows humour also emerged. Twitter user Nik Batalov posted a now infamous photo of Russian cheese mongers bathing in a dairy vat with a new caption reading, “Buy Domestic.”

“I’ve only lived half my life, and I’m already transitioning to horse meat,” Yaroslav Sviridov said.

“Beef can be replaced by a national leader; toilet paper, spirituality; and fruit, a five-minute hate screed on TV to anyone who has some,” said “FakeMORF.”

The sanctions do seem to be having some impact in the West: Ireland’s dairy industry is warning of potential job losses, and as we just reported, shares in two U.S. poultry producers are down.

But it appears the greatest impact will be felt by Russians themselves.

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