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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 02:02 GMT
In Pictures - Cost of living in Russia

Garden shop in northern suburb Moscow

Russia's economy is booming, but far from the boutiques which have sprung up around the Kremlin ordinary Russians are having to deal with a resurgent problem - inflation.

Alex Vasiliev's office

From the back office of his store in a north eastern suburb of Moscow, Alexei Vasiliev makes his living running a small garden and flower shop.

Alex Vasiliev

Describing himself as an ordinary Muscovite, Alexei, 40, finds it increasingly difficult for his wages to keep up with Russia's soaring inflation, which currently stands at more than 12%.

Shoppers

The prices of some goods in Russia have risen by more than 50% in the last year. Alexei's shop caters for people who buy seeds to grow vegetables to supplement their incomes.

Alexei shopping

Next door to his garden shop is a discount supermarket, where Alexei does his shopping. Both he and his wife work in order to feed and clothe their family.

Goods in a shopping bag

Alexei earns 17,000 roubles ($600) a month, but a day's worth of supplies from the supermarket costs him $30. "My wife and I both have to work to make ends meet," Alexei says.

Outdoor market

On the other side of Moscow, shoppers look for cheaper goods in one of the city's many indoor markets. Prices in the markets have not risen so steeply as in the supermarkets.

Market stall owner, Haji

Haji, an Uzbek market trader who runs a dried fruit stall, says business is good. But he faces steep costs transporting his produce by road to Moscow.

Exclusive shopping mall

The centre of Moscow now boasts exclusive shopping malls which would not look out of place in Paris or New York. This popular mall is close to Red Square.

Cakes in a boutique

Moscow is now among the most expensive cities in the world, and for the city's growing middle class there are plenty of shops to cater for their rich tastes.

Man on street.

But despite Russia's new found wealth, many struggle to get by and are forced to eke out a living on the streets. Interviews: Duncan Bartlett. Pictures: Jon Cronin.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
One Muscovite's struggle with inflation



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