In response to the massive disappearance of salt from market shelves, the Russian press began an investigation into what was going on with consumers. The only lead they could find was from an article in the beginning of February, printed in the Noviye Izvestiye newspaper, which said that Kiev was planning on raising the price of salt in response to the fact that Russia was raising the price of natural gas being sold to the Ukraine. Russia buys more than 40% of its salt from the Ukraine.
Following the printing of this article, and despite reassurances from Russian authorities that there would be no salt crisis, Russians lunged at the supermarkets, buying up all the salt they could find. Salt prices rose from 7 rubles per kilo at the beginning of February, to almost one dollar a kilo by the end of the month.