In Russia, with sanctions, “it’s getting more and more difficult”

For six months, the Petrov family (an assumed name) resisted the Kremlin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. But discreetly, around the kitchen table or in small groups with close friends. No word on social media, no arguments on the phone, no loud restaurant reviews. A veil of anger, sadness and despair has hung over the Petrovs’ lives since the Russian invasion of the neighboring country began on February 24. The family describes the damage to their daily lives caused by Western sanctions against Russia. “And, practically, against us, paradoxically”, Mikhail, the father, sums up that he is 60 years old. He understands these measures without fully endorsing them.

This pre-retiree, employed in one of the main public groups under sanctions, is inexplicably affected by the sanctions, either directly or indirectly, in his company. “The administration is acting as if nothing happened. It echoes official rhetoric: Russia will replace imports with its own products; The economy will strengthen; The country will gain independence He teases. Meanwhile, it’s back to bad habits: Russia and its economy are closing in on themselves and short-term vision. We zigzag between barriers that prohibit the purchase of Western parts and technologies. We go through some of them. It is replaced by imports from China or Turkey. But above all, we continue to make profits without modernizing and worrying about future performance. »

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Russian gold embargo, renewed blacklist… Europeans impose total sanctions against Moscow

In the fifties, Elena, a philosopher interested in European cultures and languages, finds her activities interrupted overnight. Over the years, he has been developing youth exchange programs between Russia and France, United Kingdom, Germany. “Nothing is possible anymore. Culture is not under sanction. But, in reality, everything is blocked. Our partners don’t want or can’t work with us anymore. Airspace closures make flights more complex and expensive. For our generation, it was stolen. Maybe even my grandchildren. She worries.

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A rich man will be a rich man

Her son Nikita, 34, tries to stay optimistic. Blocking SWIFT, the international financial exchange system for Russia Interbank transfers have been banned since March His computer company depended on it. An expert in IT, he had developed various marketing solutions. Nikita lost foreign clients. Unable to pay for subscriptions to Western applications and needing to upgrade his programs, he turns to System D: he goes through a friend in Spain to pay.

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