In 20 Russian regions, the prices of school kits, which include everything a child needs before starting the new school year, have surpassed the average monthly income per capita, IStories* estimates.
According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, the basic “school kit” for a first-grade student costs 22,300 rubles (€364) on average in Russia for a boy and 26,800 rubles (€437) on average for a girl.
IStories estimates that in 20 Russian regions, the average monthly income per capita is lower than the price of a school kit calculated by the statistics service. In Tuva, it costs nearly 24,000 rubles (€391) to get a child ready for school, while the average monthly income per capita is just 15,500 rubles (€253). A similar situation is observed in Khakassia, Buryatia, Altai, North Caucasus republics, Vladimir and Ivanov regions, and Crimea.
In 14 more regions, including Mordovia, Penza, Kirov and Ulyanovsk regions, parents will have to spend over 90% of their per capita income to buy a first-grade school kit.
Residents of only six regions (Moscow, Magadan, Yamalo-Nenets, Nenets, Khanty-Mansi and Chukotka regions) spend less than half of their monthly income to get a child ready for school.
What is more, the data provided by the Russian statistics service may be lower than the actual sum. In 2020, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre calculated that Russians spend an average of 35,000 rubles (€571) on getting their kids ready for school.
Meanwhile, Russians are recommended to sign up for the war in Ukraine to get enough money for the first-grade school kit. Acting head of Russia’s Mari El Yury Zaytsev promised that the families of army volunteers from the republic “will have enough money to buy food, clothes and to get their child ready for the start of classes”.
IStories also points out that Russia spends 21 bln rubles (€347.5 mln) a day on the war in Ukraine. According to the media outlet, the money spent on 18 days of the war would be enough to pay for the school kits of all 15 million Russian school students.
*The Russian government considers IStories an “undesirable organisation”. Reposting this news article in Russia may lead to a fine. A repeat offence may result in criminal charges.