Russian forces in Mariupol have begun paying pensions in Russian rubles, using cash, an adviser to that city’s Ukrainian mayor said on Thursday.
“It is now known that the occupiers have already delivered trucks with cash,” Petro Andrushchenko said on national television. “Russian pensions are being handed to pensioners in Russian rubles – which shows very well what the Russian economy is, that such a sum of money can be stupidly brought in cash and start handing out.”
“But you understand what's going on there: Huge queues, fights, scandals, because of the heat, because there is no organization really. That is, no process is organized,” he said.
Andrushchenko is not in the city but has been a reliable conduit for information from Mariupol.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti has reported that around 46,000 applications for pension payments have been received, and that the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic has begun paying out those benefits.
Andrushchenko said that those figures can “more or less” be trusted.
“But we must add another 20 to 30 percent of our elderly Mariupol people who do not accept the occupation and deliberately did not submit documents, and another 5 percent who could not physically come and submit documents. This is a critical amount for the city in which it is located,” he said.