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Russia's economy is crumbling under the weight of Western sanctions, with the ruble plummeting to a record-low this week.
The Russian ruble has lost nearly 50 per cent of its value since the beginning of 2022 and with the Ukrainian invasion has accelerated the nation's economic plunge.
One Russian ruble is now worth less than an American penny - or 11 cents AUD.
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska - who has been targeted by individual sanctions in the past - told Forbes that the Russia is facing an economic catastrophe similar to 1998.
Surprising honesty from Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska on the unraveling economic crisis: "This is going to be like 1998 crisis but three times worse and will last 3 years"— Anton Barbashin (@ABarbashin) March 6, 2022
The 1998 collapse resulted in the Russian government and the Russian Central Bank devaluing the ruble and defaulting on its debt, which had significant economic impact on neighbouring nations.
“Multiply that (the 1998 collapse) times three,” Oleg Deripaska said.
As the Russian economy teeters on the brink, major companies such as McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are boycotting Russia by suspending trade in the country.
Biden: "One rouble is now worth less than an American penny."— tomorraw.com (@tomorrawdotcom) March 8, 2022
As the crisis deepens, Russians are now fleeing the nation in droves via train, plane, or even on foot as the threat of economic collapse looks imminent.
Western sanctions have already led to closed borders, and fears of food rationing are on the rise.
Russian environmental journalist, Alec Luhn, tweeted: "I've left Russia amid reports martial law could be declared and borders closed.
"Tickets mostly sold out. Packed flight.
"Other passengers said they were afraid to be trapped in Russia... [and they] don't know if they'll be able to return."
Russians who do not have European visas are fleeing to Georgia, Armenia and Turkey, where a Russian dissidence is steadily growing.
For Russians who are able to leave to Europe, many are crossing the land border to Finland or to the Baltic states.
Train fares to Helsinki have also soared in price as desperate Russians try to flee the nation.
Last Thursday, train tickets from St Petersburg for the Finnish capital came at an eye-watering price, according to the Express.
At the time, the RussianTrain website was quoting fare costs of AUD$10,072.06 to a whopping AUD$13,607.43 for the three-hour journey.
https://t.co/UvMuPNjNpq #Russia waits to hear #Putin issue an expected order for martial law #Russians flee and train tickets from St.Petersburg-Helsinki--a 3.5 hour ride--are creeping past $10,000👀👀👀 https://t.co/wEuJjV54Fa pic.twitter.com/EGUt6j7LK7— Candace Rondeaux (@CandaceRondeaux) March 3, 2022
Despite the incredible cost, Helsinki train station was still packed with Russian passengers escaping the country.
"We decided with our families to go back as soon as possible, because it's unclear what the situation will be in a week," Moscow resident Polina Poliakova told AFP.
Today (March 9), the RussianTrain website will not give online quotes as 'online sales are currently unavailable for this route'.
Featured Image Credit: Pablo Avanzini/Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Alamy Stock Photo