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Economy

Mongolia, How The "Switch To Austerity” Sparked A National Uprising

The Asian country is experiencing record inflation and soaring food costs as imports dry up due to the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Protesters gathered in April outside the Government Palace in SukhbaatarSquare, Ulaanbaatar, to demand lawmakers stop the increasing costs of basic goods.

Nansalmaa Oyunchimeg, Myagmarsuren Battur

ULAANBAATAR — In the shadows of an immense statue of Chinggis Khaan, the founder of the Mongol empire, thousands gather. They stand outside the Government Palace to demand officials remedy the ever-increasing cost of living.

A young demonstrator holds up a mirror, asking if Mongolian government officials can bear to look themselves in the face, while others chant “Do your job” during the two-day dissent in April. The protest signals a breaking point for citizens who struggle to keep up with rising costs. They accuse the government of neglecting its duty to remedy the situation and forcing people to consider fleeing the country.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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