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Learning English - Words in the News
24 May, 2006 - Published 13:18 GMT
Counterfeit roubles

The Russian interior ministry is reporting a massive rise in the number of forged roubles in circulation. The Russian national currency is increasingly trusted by a population which once overwhelmingly preferred the dollar or the euro. And counterfeiters seem to be following the trend. This report from James Rodgers:

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The rouble has not had an easy ride in recent years. Through the economic upheavals of the 1990s, Russians had little confidence in their own currency. They preferred the US dollar.

The dollar is still widely used here, especially for big transactions such as the purchase of property or cars. But with the economy booming on the back ofsky high oil prices, Russians are increasingly putting their trust in the rouble.

So, it seems are the counterfeiters. The interior ministry reports almost sixteen thousand incidents of fake notes in the first three months of 2006, a staggering ninety-two percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.

Not surprisingly the forgers favourites are the larger denomination notes. These days Moscow shoppers are subject to suspicious looks, followed by careful examination of watermarks when they hand over their cash at the till.

James Rodgers, BBC News, Moscow

Listen to the words

has not had an easy ride
has had problems

violent or sudden changes or disruption

feeling secure or certain about something

deals, commercial business

on the back of
because of

sky high
very high, extremely high

people who make fake things, e.g. money

highly surprising, astonishing

are subject to
are prone to, are getting

a faint design made in some paper, e.g. banknotes, visible when held against the light and difficult to copy

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