Inflation is going up and purchasing power is falling sharply for Russians as the country's currency drops in value.
The Russian government has taken strong measures this week, sharply increasing interest rates to 17 percent, and selling off a chunk of its dollar reserves to shore up the falling ruble.
None of the moves have worked, and the ruble is trading at about half its value from the beginning of the year.
NPR's Corey Flintoff tells Here & Now's Robin Young that while there is no panic on the streets, and no runs on banks, for Russian who have the money, "it makes more sense to go out and by what we used to call durable goods — refrigerators and TV sets. They idea is that you'll have more value out of your refrigerator because it won't lose value as fast as your rubles do."
This segment aired on December 17, 2014.