Pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk called for referendums on Monday for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions (photo: dpa)

Putin’s popularity soars on the back of Crimea

Economic sanctions, imposed on Russia and its billionaires by the West following the annexation of Crimea, have played into the hands of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The unforeseen pay-back includes seeing his popularity in Russia soar while Russian billionaires take their money home, to the benefit of the Russian Federation, rather than have it frozen in the West.

RUSSIA’S annexation of Crimea has to be the most expensive real estate acquisition in history.

Moscow has to ensure life-support for the isolated peninsula, which will be costly enough, but planned investments include building a pipeline for gas, a bridge to the Russian mainland, and upgrading port faci...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
How long the downturn will last and how deep it will go is conditional on whether sanctions result in all-out economic war between Russia and the West
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