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Russia Capital Outflow Reaches $8 Billion In April

Following the financial indicators in Moscow.

Following the financial indicators in Moscow.

The Russian Economy Ministry says outflows of capital from Russia reached a staggering $8 billion over the month of April, surpassing by far government estimates.

Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said a total of $35 billion had already left the country over the first quarter of 2012.

Russia's capital outflows soared to $84 billion in 2011, more than double the previous year.

Russia's Central Bank, however, predicted a net inflow of capital starting in May.

Successive elections -- including to the State Duma in December 2011 and a vote in March to return Vladimir Putin to the presidency -- have sparked street protests unseen in Russia since the early 1990s and raised serious questions about the vibrancy of its political system.

Putin was inaugurated for a third term on May 7 amid demonstrations calling for greater democracy, which prompted swift and often brutal responses by police and the arrest of hundreds of protesters.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS

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