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Questions and answers:

Jack asks: The damage to Stalingrad as estimated in 1943 was 9 million rubles, what is the US dollar equivalent of that in 1943 and now in 2024?
Expert's answer:
A small correction, the material damage caused to Stalingrud was estimated at 9 billion Soviet rubles. In 1936, the exchange rate of the Soviet ruble was pegged first to the French franc and then to the US dollar (to the gold backing of these currencies) and amounted to 5 Soviet rubles per 1 USD. Thus, the damage was about 1.8 billion USD in 1943 (about 32.6 billion USD in 2024). Of course this is a rough estimate.
Bran asks: What would it cost to travel on the Trans-Siberian railway for a tourist, and are there any tourist traps to watch out for? How risky is it to travel alone in Russia?
Expert's answer:
You should start by checking the following Trans-Siberain Railway tours, contact them directly to get more info: first, second, third. If you are not an experienced traveler, can't speak Russian, I am not sure going alone is a good idea. It's not that it's very dangerous, it's just that there will probably be a lot of small issues that an organized tour will help you avoid, although it will be more expensive.
Daniel asks: So I clearly understand: * RUBLES dated 1993 CAN NOT be exchanged and no longer have value? AND, * RUBLES dated 1995 CAN be exchanged at current exchange rates? Thank you!
Expert's answer:
Both, the 1993 and 1995 series of Russian rubles are no longer in circulation and can't be exchanged, they have small collectible value. The 1997 series is in circulation now and can be exchanged.
Skanky Dada asks: Can I survive on 500 thousand rubles a month in Russia?
Expert's answer:
As of August 2023, most working people in Russia earn in the range of about 20,000-40,000 Rubles per month. With an income of 500,000 rubles a month, you can live in very comfortable conditions everywhere in Russia, including Moscow.
Francisco asks: What is the present value of a silver ruble in 1846? I have this question because I want to understand what Dostoevsky was thinking when he wrote one of his articles. If you know the value of the ruble in USD in 1846 that would be enough, thanks a lot!
Expert's answer:

Here are several examples of prices in 1848-1850s in order to assess the purchasing power of a silver ruble. It is also worth noting that the value of a silver ruble was higher than a paper ruble (banknote), 1 silver ruble - about 3-4 rubles in banknotes.

  • The price a fur coat made of black-brown fox - 1000 rubles,
  • A sable fur coat - 2000 rubles,
  • A village hut - 100 rubles,
  • One peasant in the Yaroslavl Governorate - 24 rubles,
  • Straw - 1 silver ruble for one cart,
  • Sugar - 0.24 silver rubles per 1 pound (0.41 kg),
  • Vodka - 1.13 silver rubles per 3 liters,
  • Beef - 5.30 rubles in banknotes for 16.4 kg,
  • Eggs - 1 silver ruble for 100 eggs.

You can compare this with today's prices to give a rough estimate of the value of the silver ruble of that time.

Fred asks: In April 1968, 4230 rubles were worth how many US dollars?
Expert's answer:
The official exchange rate at that time was 0.9 Soviet ruble to 1 US dollar. However, this had no practical significance for the citizens of the USSR, since it was forbidden to buy foreign currency under the threat of criminal punishment. On the black market, the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Soviet ruble was 5-10 times higher than the official one. So for the amount of 4,230 rubles you could buy about 500-900 US dollars.
Clare asks: What is the history of the emblem of Belgorod and what does it symbolize?
Expert's answer:
The current emblem of Belgorod repeats the historical emblem of this city, approved on July 21, 1893 on the basis of the banner emblem of 1712 of the Belgorod infantry regiment, which showed valor in the Battle of Poltava (1709), the main battle of the Northern War between the Russian army under the command of Peter I and the Swedish army under the command of Charles XII. The soaring eagle symbolizes Russia, and it soars above the fleeing lion, the symbol of Sweden. Quite an interesting story and a cool emblem that would look great on a T-shirt or as a custom enamel pin. You can Learn More at BPS.
Sean asks: Can I use 2017 era rubles banknotes in Russia or do I have to get 2023 rubles banknotes?
Expert's answer:
As of July 2023, banknotes of the 1997 series and their later variations of the early and mid-2000s (50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 rubles) are in circulation in Russia. In 2017, two new banknotes were introduced in denominations of 200 and 2,000 rubles. All these banknotes can be used for payments.
Margarita asks: Hi! I just got a remote job where I earn 1000 USD and I've been thinking, is this enough to live comfortably in Saint Petersburg? It's my dream city and I'd love to be able to afford it. And if not, what city nearby would allow me to live comfortably with this salary? Thanks!
Expert's answer:
As of June 2023, 1,000 USD is about 85,000 Rubles. Most working people in St. Petersburg earn in the range of about 40,000-50,000 Rubles per month. You can rent an apartment with one living room for about 20,000-30,000 Rubles per month (check this list). The following article about cost of living in Saint Petersburg should be useful. In general, I think, this income should be enough, if you live in this city alone, but for example, buying an apartment or even a car will most likely be financially difficult. Also, be sure to check how you will be able to receive your salary in Russia, since international payments are very limited due to sanctions.
Anonymous asks: How much does a 25 Soviet Ruble from 1961 cost today?
Expert's answer:
Today, the average collectible value of this banknote is about 2-3 USD. In 1961, the average salary in the USSR was about 80 rubles per month.

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