What better sign that a leader understands the struggles of his people than by taking a big pay cut?
Vladimir Putin has announced he will take a 10 per cent pay cut between the beginning of this month and the end of December.
The Russian President said the pay cut will apply to other senior lawmakers, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and prosecutor general Yury Chaika, as well as Alexander Bastrykin, the president of Russia's Investigative Committee.
Although it sounds generous, it's worth pointing out that less than a year ago, the Kremlin decided to triple Putin's salary.
However, since then Russia has been hit by the twin crises of western sanctions and plummeting oil prices, which have combined to push the rouble down 39 per cent in the last six months.
Still, Putin bills himself as living a frugal lifestyle, so he'll probably be alright. As long as he still has access to the basics: a fishing rod, a horse, a mini submarine...