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Gap Grows Between Rich And Poor In Russia

(RFE/RL) August 9, 2007 -- Russia's state statistics service says the richest 10 percent of Moscow's residents earned 41 times more than the poorest 10 percent in 2006.

Nationwide in 2006, the richest 10 percent of the Russian population earned 15 times more than the poorest 10 percent.

Russian Academy of Sciences economist Ruslan Grinberg warns that such a large gap could lead to social unrest.

Average monthly wages in Russia at the end of 2006 were around 9,000 rubles, or just over $300.

The state statistics service puts the official poverty level at 15 percent nationwide.

Kremlin economic advisor Arkady Dvorkovich has said the real level may be over 25 percent.