The Russian economy survives Western sanctions for the war in Ukraine thanks in part to a series of neighboring countries and allies that supply it with everything from food to smartphones, from washing machines to semiconductors.
This is what emerges from a New York Times investigation, which points the finger at former Soviet republics such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan but also at countries such as China and Turkey.
The data indicate the explosion of exports of various goods from these countries to Russia, so much so that according to some analysts, Moscow's imports could have returned to pre-war levels.
The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it expects the Russian economy to grow 0.3% this year, a marked improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3% contraction.
The IMF also said it expects Russian crude export volume to remain relatively strong despite the price cap and that Russian trade will continue to be redirected to countries that have not imposed sanctions.
This would explain the unexpected resilience of the Russian economy.