The Price of War for the Russian Federation

Nadin Brzezinski
9 min readJul 19, 2022
Modern-day St Petersburg, via Twitter

Wars are not cheap. Western economies know it. The recent war on terror was very expensive, even if most Americans did not feel it. According to Brown University:

A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars have cost the U.S. an estimated $8 trillion and have killed more than 900,000 people.

This was over the course of twenty years within a top-tier economy that was able to absorb this. Yes, we can argue whether that money would have been better spent on a national health system or improved infrastructure, even with climate change. The point is that these costs were not hidden. The University study also includes civilians.

Realize when you read the following from the Federation, a Rubble right now is about 18 US cents. But the numbers are still extremely high. What is also telling, from whoever is leaking to Volymedia, is that these are now considered state secrets.

All this hiding started in April. I know they expected this to go for only three days; if it had, it would have been a cheap war. It would have been presented as a great victory of Putinism, as the country reconstitutes the Soviet Union. Instead, they are carrying secret mobilizations and now raiding the state. This is once again an extraordinary document, and I will highlight important sections in full translation.

There was also one interesting trend. Since April, the main expenditures of the war have fallen on extra-budgetary funds — state corporations, people from Putin’s inner circle, regional business and ordinary citizens, who are attracted to voluntary and forced donations for military operations.

Remember, I pointed to the forced donations earlier in the war. This is not uncommon in authoritarian states. I speculated in the piece that a lot of this money would not go where intended. It’s lived experience. There will be more on this theme below.

For the first half of 2022, federal budget expenditures under the item “National Defense” amounted to 2.272 trillion rubles, which is 41.58% more than in the same period last year. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute believes that the article “National Defense” discloses only 75% of the expenditure on the armed…

Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB