The Russian ruble fell 30% to 110 rub per dollar at one point before retracing some of the loses while markets are suspended for the day in Moscow.
The Russian central bank has been sanctioned by the United States and the United Kingdom with the Whitehouse stating:
“We commit to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.”
That may in particular prevent their efforts to prop up the ruble due to restrictions on the central bank foreign exchange transactions in dollars or euros.
There are suggestions thus that on the ground one dollar is demanding 250 rubles, nearing collapsing levels:
The Russian central bank has more than doubled the base interest rate from 9% to 20% to try and halt the decline, but dollars and euros are clearly becoming rarer in Russia.
That’s in part because citizens there might want to save in usd or eur, rather than in widely sanctioned ruble.
In addition the reduced trade with Europe and America means there will be less foreign currency in Russia and less demand for their ruble, thus if proper trading opens in forex markets of usd/rub, we may see a further collapse.
Inflation is already expected to spike in Russia. A lot of imported goods are becoming more expensive with their economy likely to enter a depression as Russians now have to fax or phone call to make a transfer abroad, after it was kicked out of SWIFT, in a regression to half a century ago.