MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered law enforcement officers and army staff receive $200, as he seeks support for his unpopular United Russia party ahead of parliamentary elections next month.
The cash handouts follow earlier one-time payments for pensioners of $135 ahead of lower house State Duma polls in September, with United Russia’s ratings hit by rising prices coupled with falling wages.
Russia’s legal information portal showed Putin had signed decrees ordering one-time cash payments of 15,000 rubles ($200) for members of the military and law enforcement bodies to be handed out in September for their “social protection”.
While Russia has not announced how many people will receive the payments, the country has some 42 million pensioners and 1.7 million members of the military, police and national guard, according to official statistics.
The Interfax news agency cited lawmaker Andrei Makarov, who heads the budget committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament, as saying that the payments will total more than 500 billion rubles ($6.8 billion).
The payments come as Russian authorities have struggled to curb soaring inflation, with Putin ordering his government several times since late 2020 to take measures to bring prices under control.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2021