The lines for sugar in Saratov were hard not to compare to the Soviet era, part of a recent run on Russian staples that have revived fears that the Kremlin’s invasion in Ukraine will lead to a virtual slide back to the shortages or endless queues of the Soviet Union.
Bags of sugar and buckwheat began disappearing from local markets in early March, just a week after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. And when the local mayor’s office announced that it would hold special markets for people to buy the staples last week, hundreds showed up.
“People are sharing tips about where to get sugar. This is crazy,” said Viktor Nazarov, who said that his grandmother had tasked him with visiting the special market last weekend to stock up. “It’s sad and it’s funny. It feels like a month ago was fine and now we’re talking about the 1990s again, buying products because … we’re afraid they’ll disappear.”
After an hour and a half waiting at the…