By Paul Goble
Over the last two weeks with the ruble in free fall and the coronavirus spreading, Russians have purchased 130 percent more bullets and 30 percent more baseball bats than they did in the previous two, according to the OFD Platform which keeps track of retail transactions (rbc.ru/business/24/03/2020/5e79a98b9a794723ac13e027 and govoritmagadan.ru/v-rossii-rezko-vyrosli-prodazhi-patronov-i-bejsbolnyh-bit/).
Some retailers say some people are buying these things for seasonal reasons or because fitness clubs have closed and these are alternative forms of recreation while others suggest that Russians fear the collapse of the ruble will drive the cost of weapons, bullets and sporting equipment up and are buying now to beat inflation.
But Aleksey Rogozin, head of the Federation of Practice Shooting of the City of Moscow, says, it is difficult to say just “why in critical situations, the people rush to purchase bullets.” He said that all the clubs who are members of his organization are experiencing heightened demand.”
“That’s always been the case,” he says. “In any crisis, the people become active.”