Russia’s first deputy prime minister, Igor Shuvalov, says that the country’s ongoing economic crisis will only rally its citizens behind President Vladimir Putin and that they would sacrifice their own comfort before supporting his removal. From the AP:
Shuvalov, who is believed to be one of the richest men in the government, said that what he considers the West’s attempts to oust Putin will only unite the nation further.
“When a Russian feels any foreign pressure, he will never give up his leader,” Shuvalov said. “Never. We will survive any hardship in the country — eat less food, use less electricity.”
As noted, Shuvalov is very wealthy, and versions of this picture (which an opposition-linked newspaper says depicts Shuvalov’s Moscow-area home) have been circulating on Twitter since he made his remarks about belt-tightening.
Seems like Shuvalov will probably make it through the hungry times OK—and if things get especially tough, he can sell the properties he reportedly owns in London and Austria.