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TitleUnderstanding Data: Russia and Ukraine - Crimean crisis [UPDATED]
AuthorPhillip Thorne

Starting in 2015, statistical sources for Russia and Ukraine have restated or reorganized data from as early as 2010 pertaining to the disputed territory (namely, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol). How do we represent this discontinuity in Data Buffet? [Updated 31 May 2019.]



Please note: There is not yet a universally agreed-upon term for this geopolitical situation, but to provide a consistent label across Data Buffet, we have chosen "Crimean crisis" for its brevity.

In the wake of the ongoing Crimean crisis starting in November 2013 and in particular the March 2014 annexation by Russia of Ukrainian territory, the national statistical agencies of the two countries have begun adapting. To reflect the new de facto boundary (i.e., a changed geographic scope on each side):

  • Quarterly and monthly datasets have been restated from varied points, generally from 2014.
  • Russia has reorganized subnational areas.

The sources are:

  • Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation (Rosstat)
  • State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSC)

Data Buffet's response

How do we recognize that a change has occurred?

  • Verbiage attached to a data table by SSC, typically "excluding the temporarily occupied territories, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" or "excluding the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of the anti-terrorist operation zone."
  • When a written statement has not accompanied the change, we have contacted the source directly to clarify. (One possible alternative reason for a data break would be implementation of the BPM6 and 2008 SNA frameworks, an ongoing process in the two countries.)

How will our response impact you?

  • In some cases, the source reports a single contiguous series with a definitional break.
  • In other cases, there are two series with overlapping periods. If so, we archive the pre-crisis series and create a replacement post-crisis series; this preserves both trends.
  • We may elect to discontinue datasets we do not consider mission-critical to Data Buffet.
  • For those datasets that are reported on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, with current and year-ago periods rather than contiguous history, there will be a temporary gap in the replacement series until the source reports past periods.
  • The replacement mnemonic may be dissimilar to its predecessor. To retrieve active data, you will need to adapt your baskets and other automated retrievals.

How can you recognize a changed series?

  • Examine the Data Buffet catalog.
  • A predecessor series will generally contain an archive specifier of "_13" or "_14" embedded in its concept code.
  • For a contiguous series, the "source" metadata (visible in Mnemonic 411, View mode, and basket output) will specify, in square brackets, "[Break in geo scope (Crimean Crisis) from period-after-break]".
  • For a series pair, the metadata will read "[Pre-Crimean Crisis boundaries]" and "[Post-Crimean Crisis boundaries]".
  • Although we assume that all statistics will ultimately reflect the new border, an unmarked series is one that has not come specifically to our attention.
  • When you run a legacy basket and examine the "description" metadata of a series, it is now marked "[DISCONTINUED]."
  • When you run a legacy basket and it reports "series not found," that indicates we have created a replacement series with a dissimilar mnemonic.

To date, the impacted datasets are:



See also


  • 26 Mar 2015 - Initial version
  • 5 Jun - Ukraine: Retail trade
  • 15 Jul - Ukraine: PPI
  • 4 Sep - Russia: National population, birth, date; marriage, divorce
  • 11 Nov 2016 - Russia: Subnational population by sex and age; Ukraine: Households
  • 20 Jan 2017 - Russia: Subnational rural and urban population
  • 30 Oct - Ukraine: subnational LFS discontinued, subnational wages suspended
  • 9 Feb 2018 - Russia: Apartment prices
  • 23 Mar - Russia: Population by sex and age in Crimean areas
  • 5 Jun - Ukraine: Business demographics for retail
  • 28 Oct - Russia: Population, migration rate, income, consumer expenditure, housing stock, marriage and divorce, wages, real income, unemployment rate, GVA by industry
  • 31 May 2019 - Russia: Births and deaths, GVA share by industry, gross regional product, CPI, retail turnover

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