The price of eggs in Russia has shot up across 13 time zones with some residents of the world’s biggest country queueing up two days to get some, news reports said on Monday.

A ten-pack (the common Russian corresponding of a dozen) of top-grade eggs can cost a consumer more than the ruble equivalent of $1.50 in outlying cities, and twice that in the capital Moscow or in cities at the end of long supply chains such as Siberia’s Magadan or Murmansk in the Russian Far North.

Video Images from the west Russian city of Belgorod showed a queue of hundreds standing in snow for economy price eggs at the equivalent of 70 cents US per ten-pack.

The pro-Ukrainian information site Ischi Svoikh reported that some Belgorod egg hunters had queued up for two days to purchase a maximum allowance of 20 eggs per shopper “but some people managed to grab more.” Egg prices in Belgorod had risen over 24 percent this year and now were “more expensive than tropical fruit,” the report said.

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Images published by the local Russian Telegram channel Podsluchano Klintsy, a provincial town in the adjacent Bryansk Oblast, said people began queueing up at 7 a.m. for the cheap eggs.

In the west Russian Oblast of Bryansk local authorities opened an investigation into why the price of eggs had increased by 20 percent in recent months, almost three times the officially-approved Kremlin annual national inflation rate of 7 percent.

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According to the independent Russian news website Astra, similar queues for eggs were evident in the central Russian city of Saratov following the arrival of trucks from local poultry farms. The price of eggs in some provincial Russian towns has shot up 4.4 percent in the last week and in some cities over 37 percent, the report said.

The hard-line pro-Kremlin blogger, Vladimir Rogov claimed that reports of spikes in egg prices were Kyiv-inspired fake news. He posted a video showing ten eggs in a store in (Russia-occupied) Crimea costing only $1.31 to $1.86 – not the “lie” of $2.20 claimed by “Ukrainian propagandists”.

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In most Russian families, eggs are eaten daily and considered a major source of protein.    

The rising cost of chicken feed, the Russian ruble’s worsening exchange rate against major western currencies such as the dollar and the euro, were contributing to the higher cost of eggs in Russia, the Klintsy news report said.

Western economic analysts have pointed to massive Kremlin investments in military manufacturing causing inflation in prices for consumer goods, along with plummeting world prices in oil, as other reasons food prices in Russia have increased.

The pro-Kyiv government blogger Anton Gerashchenko in a Monday post pointed out to readers that skyrocketing prices of eggs, and other household staples like black bread, milk, candles and matches were contributing factors to massed riots in Russia in 1917, which eventually brought down the Tsarist monarchy.

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