Russian Technocrats Keep Funds Flowing for Vladimir Putin's War

adim, a car-parts dealer from a provincial Russian town, never supported the war. Indeed, he broadly backed the West’s sanctions on Russia: how else could you stop the “monsters” intent on destroying his country, as well as Ukraine, if not by hitting their pockets? But when the West’s measures hit the supply of parts he needed from his distributors, he followed business logic and sourced them from wherever he could. The search took him to Turkey. A web of intermediaries offered him various schemes to deliver his goods for a handling cost of between $2 and $4 per kilogram. Today, they arrive in batches, often in bags labelled “personal effects”, three to four weeks after ordering. Vadim asks no questions, provided the price is right. He understands that the same applies to customs officials. 


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