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Yes, Russia’s currency, the ruble, hit its weakest level in history against the U.S. dollar

The ruble hit its worst exchange rate in history early Feb. 24 at about 90 rubles to one U.S. dollar.

UPDATE: The exchange rate for Russia's currency, the ruble, was above 100 rubles per U.S. dollar as of Monday, Feb. 28. 

On Thursday, Feb. 24, President Joe Biden announced another round of sanctions on Russia in response to the country’s attack on Ukraine. 

“We will limit Russia’s ability to do business in Dollars, Euros, Pounds, and Yen, to be part of the global economy. We will limit their ability to do that,” Biden said during his remarks on Thursday. “We are going to stunt the ability to finance and grow…the Russian military.”

The sanctions target big Russian banks holding nearly 80% of the country’s banking assets, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

When announcing the sanctions on Thursday, Biden also addressed the impact on Russia’s currency, the ruble. He said it “hit its weakest level ever in history.”

On Friday, Feb. 25, the United States, Britain and the European Union said that they will move to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The EU’s unanimous decision was part of a broader sanctions package.

THE QUESTION

Did Russia’s currency, the ruble, hit its weakest level in history against the U.S. dollar?

THE SOURCES

  • Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor for international economics in the Biden administration and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
  • Foreign exchange rate data from FactSet, an American financial data company
  • Trading Economics, an economic data and forecasting company
  • Tullett Prebon, a financial services firm

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, Russia’s currency, the ruble, hits its weakest level in history against the U.S. dollar.

WHAT WE FOUND

Daleep Singh, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics in the Biden administration and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, said the ruble was at its “weakest value on record against the U.S. dollar before the Central Bank [of Russia] intervened” on Feb. 24 during a White House press briefing. He added that the Russian stock market “plunged over 30% at one point” before it was halted by local regulators. 

FactSet, an American financial data company, tracks currency exchange rates. Foreign exchange rate data from FactSet shows that the Russian ruble fell to its lowest level on record on Thursday, as shown on the Vienna Stock Exchange

Trading Economics, a company that provides historical data and forecasts for tens of millions of economic indicators, also reported that the ruble exchange rate plunged almost 10% to hit an “all-time low” of around 90 rubles per U.S. dollar on Thursday. The exchange rate has since strengthened to around 83 per U.S. dollar as of Friday, Feb. 25, data from Trading Economics shows. 

Financial news sites, including the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch, use data from Tullett Prebon, a financial services firm, for exchange rate tracking. They publish graphing tools that show the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the ruble. A higher number indicates a higher exchange rate for the ruble, meaning more rubles are needed to buy one U.S. dollar worth of goods.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, local time, data from Tullett Prebon showed a spike as the ruble hit its worst exchange rate since data collection began. 

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