About 100 Russians, who have seen their mortgage payments rocket due to the plunge in the value of the ruble, took to the streets of central Moscow on Friday to demand state help.
According to Reuters this is one of the first significant protests over the currency, which has fallen more than 40 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, pushing up the cost not only of imported goods but also of the low-interest foreign-currency mortgages that the protesters had taken out.
- We are Russian citizens. We don't want to be left without a roof over our heads. We don't want to default, said Yelena Lebedenko, an accountant whose monthly repayments have risen from 40.000 to nearly 90.000 rubles over the last seven years.
- We want to pay loans based on the exchange rate at the time we signed the papers. The authorities, our government, must see to that.
Most of the anger appeared to be aimed at the Central Bank and government rather than at President Vladimir Putin, whose ratings have been sky-high since the start of the Ukraine crisis, Reuters reports.