Scramble for Shells: Egg Crisis Grips Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.12 - 2023 8:58 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Egg Crisis Grips Russia.

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Russia is scrambling to contain a nationwide egg shortage that has sent prices soaring and triggered long queues across the country. The crisis, so severe it has drawn the attention of prosecutors, has left Russians facing painful choices: pay exorbitant prices or ration their consumption of this staple food.

Lines longer than a Fabergé budget

Videos on Russian social media paint a picture of desperation. In Belgorod, footage shows snaking queues outside markets, with residents reportedly lining up as early as 7 AM to snag the limited stock of relatively cheap eggs.

The Astra channel documented the frustration, reporting "residents started queuing for eggs from dawn to purchase the scarce commodities."

Prices Scrambled: A 15% Yolk

The pain is palpable in wallets too. Egg prices have shot up by a jarring 15% in December alone, prompting Russia's top prosecutor, Igor Krasnov, to launch an investigation.

He is determined to crack the case of the soaring prices and disappearing eggs.

Producers say the crisis stems from a simple equation: demand has outstripped supply. Eggs, a cornerstone of the Russian diet, are in high demand, but production cannot keep pace. The newspaper Kommersant underscores their importance, noting, "For Russians, eggs are not just a food item; they are a symbol of security and stability."

Kremlin to the Rescue (with Limits):

Faced with a potentially explosive situation, the Kremlin has stepped in. They've authorized importing eggs from Turkey and imposed purchase restrictions at markets, capping individual purchases at 24 eggs.

Belgorod's deputy governor, Julia Schedrina, acknowledges the change in behavior, stating, "Belgorod residents have always been active shoppers, but recently they started buying eggs in bulk."

Predictably, the state-controlled media paints a different picture. They downplay the crisis, dismissing it as exaggerated and pinning the blame on "stupid Ukrainians."

This attempt at deflection rings hollow in the face of empty shelves and frustrated shoppers.

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