NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's panic in Russia.
The ruble has been plummeting. Russia's central bank intervention in October and Tuesday's interest rate hike to 17% did nothing to stop it, but additional efforts on Wednesday by the bank seem to be stemming the tide.
The ruble's rout is due to plummeting oil prices, which have hobbled Russia's energy-dependent economy. Moody's says as much as a quarter of the country's economic output relies on the energy industry. Russia's Economy Ministry last week said Gross Domestic Product will shrink 0.8% next year and with oil below $60 a barrel, it could fall further.
Must Read: Behind Russia's Current Crisis: It's Not the Ruble, It's Putin
While the situation is different now than in 1998 when Russia's defaulted on its debt and sent the world's financial markets into a tailspin, the current turmoil has already affected companies, countries and investors.
Here are 15 things you need to know about Russia right now:
1. Chart of the year. The ruble's slide in one chart.
2. Russia again tries to stem the panic. In its attempt to stem the ruble plunge for a second day, the Bank of Russia eased bank accounting rules to "curb bank's need for dollars." But Russia's ruble gained strength on Wednesday following new support by the country's central bank and pressure on "exporters not to hoard foreign-currency earnings."
3. The U.S. and European Union's imposing more sanctions on Russia. The EU has agreed to widen a ban on investment in Crimea that would target Black Sea oil and gas exploration. President Barack Obama also signaled new sanctions targeting Russian defense, banking and energy industries.
4. Oil prices to stay low. No respite in site for one of the main causes of Russia's problems, as the country reiterated that it would not cut output.
5. Russia's wealthy are losing billions. The collapse of the ruble is hitting those who have the most to lose the hardest.
7. Cartier is closed today. Cartier says Moscow stores closed for the first half of today, according to Twitter chatter.