While western media keeps telling us that the Russian economy is really struggling, the truth on the ground seems to be that actually sanctions are barely denting Russian travelers.
While you won’t be seeing too many Russians shopping in London these days, this certainly does not mean that they are not traveling, nor that they do not currently have allies throughout the world,
Some of the Toughest Sanctions The World Has Ever Seen?
To cut. A long story short sanctions really do not work. Iraq was under sanctions for years, Syria is under sanctions and North Korea is actually the most sanctioned country that has pretty much ever existed. Myanmar was sanctioned and then not, but the army still took over.
All that usually happens is that poor people suffer, something we can assume is happening in Russia now. Are the sanctions actually affecting the Russian economy all that much though? It really is hard to say, but the big problem with sanctioning Russia is that it is not only a natural resource superpower, but despite the simplistic good verses evil narrative that is portrayed in the west ,
Russia very much still has allies, many of which have their own armed problems, don’t overly care about Ukraine, or even see western governments as being at least somewhat to blame for the crisis.
Sanctions in general do not work, but they work even less when a whole host of people are simply not playing by the same rules. Few would argue for example that China has played a big hand in the survival of North Korea, with myself having witnessed first hand the daily sanction busting that goes on daily.
The Russian Allies No one Talks About
Of course Russia has a number of allies that the world knows about, such as Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea and every other country that did not get invited to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, but there are also a huge amount of other countries that while less vocal are still doing a roaring trade with Putin’s Russia.
One example of this is India, a staunch ally of Russia since the days of the USSR, who were recently cruised for buying Russian petrol, to which they pretty much gave the world the metaphorical middle finger and said stay out of our business.
The Gulf States have also been not only extremely quiet, but have continued trading with Russia without issue, or recourse from the western world. Saudi Arabaia has been particularly “naughty” by western standards, with some commentators stating it has been done in revenge for a perceived lack of support from the west with regards to there ongoing war in Yemen.
Perhaps though he most blatant of allies, and indeed tourist destination for Russian travelers though is Erdogan and Turkey. Russians have traditionally been one of the largest groups to visit Turkey and from what I saw ti summer that has seemingly not changed all that much, with the beaches of high-end resorts in Fete filled with pretty Russian women and their larger bellied other halves.
The Turkish friendship though of course goes much further, with the two countries snot only signing trade deals after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also seemingly acting like trojan horse in their blocking of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, not to mention threatening to invade Greece if the US gives them weapons that it doesn’t share with Turkey, which the US is doing because Turkey is acting as a trojan horse for Russia. All of this in a game tha resembles much more something from the playground rather than an intricate game of chess.
Sanctions Barely Affecting Russian Travelers
Which brings us back full circle. Travel around the world to places that do not have skin in the game with regards to the Russian – Ukraine war, such as the aforementioned Turkey, but also high-end places such as the Maldives and even Thailand and you will hear and see Russians simply holidaying it up.
A point I had weirdly drove home to me whilst staying in Bangkok when a guy came and asked me for a light. WE got chatting before the question of where we from came up, he told me we was from Russia but was also quick to add that he was not a “supporter of Putin”, although as the conversation progressed he then went on to explain that he had a place in Rostov-On-Don and ovule arrange “Travel to Donbass” if I needed it.
Think what you want about Russia, but not only are sanctions not facing Russian travelers, but seemingly not even the economy all that much. Russia might not beat Ukraine, but do not expect their imminent collapse either.