Show-off rich kids strike again.. and this time they’re Russian
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An economic crisis is strangling Russia. But you wouldn't think it, looking at the photos posted to Instagram by youths that had the good fortune to be born into rich families. On the account 'Rich Russian Kids', anything goes: from private jets and swimming pools, to luxury yachts and beaches that could be mistaken for paradise. But our Observer says such bling-bling behaviour isn't even surprising.
According to its administrator, the Instagram account aims to showcase 'the life of untouchable youths living in luxury. Launched back in 2015 and already counting some 278,000 followers, it brings to mind other accounts that also flaunt wealth, like 'Rich Kids of Instagram', and of course, 'Rich Kids of Tehran'.
"In Russia, people with money make a habit of showing off their wealth"Lina Dembikova is a 25-year-old Russian who works in fashion. She comes from a well-off family, but she says you definitely won’t find photos of her on 'Rich Russian Kids' anytime soon.
In Russia, people with money make a habit of showing off and spending a lot. However, what's new is flaunting your wealth on social media networks, which attracts more much attention. Before, it wasn't possible - because there was no such thing as Instagram. Many people criticise these young people, but deep down I'm sure that some of them are jealous.
"It feels so good to wake up here"
But you have to be careful with these photos. Anyone can take a picture of themselves next to a Porsche, and then post it to social media. Of course, there are some very rich young people in Russia who spend like there's no tomorrow. But there aren't as many wealthy people as you may think in Russia. In Moscow, there's maybe 20 or so. Right now, there's an economic crisis, so you are more likely to find widespread poverty. Even the wealthier families have to deal with the unfavorable change in exchange rates.
"Their parents should tell them to work, instead of giving them bucket loads of money"
Personally, I don’t think that these young people are particularly intelligent or ethical, but I also don't think I'm in a position to judge them. I’m guessing that they don't work or study, so they have huge amounts of free time. I'm sure that they take these types of photos - that they then publish on Instagram - because they have nothing better to do. That said, I think that their parents should force them to work or study, instead of handing them mindboggling amounts of cash. They should educate them, and give them boundaries.
"With this kind of landscape, hangovers aren't really a big problem"
My dad is a businessman but I started working at the age of 15 because I wanted to be independent. Afterwards, I studied in London for four years. I had Russian classmates who came from rich families but who had zero ambition! When they returned to Moscow at the end of their studies, many of them went on using their parents' money to have fun.
Such exorbitant displays of wealth on social media networks might sound at odds with the country's dire economic reality. The Russian economy has been in a slump for well over a year, and the situation doesn't appear to be improving in 2016. Along with petrol prices, the value of the ruble - Russia's currency - has fallen drastically, dragging down with it wages and investment. Last year, GDP fell by about 4 percent, leaving some 21 million Russians living under the poverty threshold.
But harsh economic realities appear to have left most of Russia's generation of jet set youth relatively unscathed. The country's class of 'nouveau riche' appeared after the fall of the Soviet Union, making millions from the mass privatization of gas and petrol that was carried out at the time.