Poverty in Russia: In a report published today, the World Bank is predicting a growth in poverty among the Russian population in 2015 and 2016 for the first time since the 1998 crisis. “The baseline scenario projects that the poverty rate will rise to 14.0% (20.1 million people) in 2015 and 14.1% (20.3 million) in 2016,” the report says. “This would be the first significant increase in the poverty rate since the 1998-1999 crisis.” The same ‘ baseline scenario’ forecasts the overall economy to contract by 3.8% in 2015 and 0.3% in 2016 . In the report, the World Bank identifies the main risks to Russia’s medium-term economic growth to be a continued shortage of available credit resources and low investment demand. That growth will also depend on how the country can adapt to shocks caused by changes in oil prices and sanctions, which pose a threat to its financial stability and fiscal sustainability.