Ukraine & Russia’s Economies — Who’s Performed Better?

Jakub Ferencik
6 min readMay 7, 2023

We’ve all been hearing doom and gloom regarding the performance of Russia’s economy from the many unprecedented sanctions packages from the EU to their disastrous performance in Ukraine.

But the reality is that Russia’s economy has been performing fairly well given the circumstances, namely the huge exodus of hundreds of thousands of Russians and the loss of a great amount of foreign investment and trade.

At the same time, much of Eastern Ukraine has been deeply affected by displacement, destroyed architecture, and ceaseless bombing.

So, who’s doing better?

Photo by Rostislav Artov on Unsplash

By the beginning of the 21st century, only 2 to 3 percent of Ukrainians claimed to lead lives that they are comfortable with. More than half of Ukrainians were barely able to afford food.

Since then, Ukrainians have been able to live more comfortably with each passing year. Putin’s full-scale invasion changed the trajectory toward relative prosperity.

Ukraine’s Economy & Performance

Most of the displaced Ukrainians as a result of the war come from the Donbas (Eastern Ukraine), where more than 20% of Ukraine’s GDP comes from.



Jakub Ferencik

Journalist in Prague | Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | 750+ articles with 1+ mil. views