Richest region of Russia revealed...and it’s not Moscow! Borsch index names Yamalo-Nenets Okrug as country’s most well-off area

A Russian study analyzing which regions of the country can afford the most portions of the much loved Borsch soup has estimated that residents of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug are the richest, beating Moscow into third place.

The study, conducted by Moscow daily Vedomosti, found that Russia’s most affluent and most impoverished regions differ 4.6 times in purchasing power.

The Borsch index works by calculating how many bowls of the country’s most popular dish a person could make per month, after paying all their taxes. It found that those living in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug could make 230 portions, compared to just 50 in Tuva, Russia’s poorest region.

Moscow came in third, at 179, with the country as a whole averaging at 102.

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The cost of Borsch products in the first half of 2021 averaged 293 rubles in Russia, 9% more than in the first half of 2020.

The Yamalo-Nenets region is located in Russia’s Far North and borders the Kara Sea in the Atlantic Ocean. The area is rich with natural resources and produces the vast majority of the country’s natural gas. According to energy giant Novatek, the natural gas reserves in the region represent 80% of the entire supply in Russia, and 15% in the world as a whole. The energy industry is the primary reason for the prosperity of the area.

However, it’s not all positive news. According to Vasiliy Anikin, a leading researcher at the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a tenth of all Russians cannot afford the price of meat at least every other day.

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Borsch, also sometimes spelled Borscht, is commonly made of cabbage, beetroot, carrot, parsley, and potatoes, and is most often cooked with meat. It is typically served with smetana – a Russian version of sour cream.

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