Crying All the Way to the Bank, Comrade
In Russia as it is anywhere, follow the money:
While the West keeps talking of "costs" for Russia - whether they be economic or social-freedom - it appears one company is benefiting from the post-sanctions period. OAO Moscow Exchange, the Russian stock exchange, is up 40% from Match 13th lows just before voters in Crimea voted to join Russia. As Bloomberg reports, daily equity trading volumes at the exchange surged to a record 72 billion rubles ($2 billion) in the first three weeks of March, compared with an average of 35 billion in February, the bourse said yesterday, as the exchange is "clearly benefiting from the current volatile environment."
If that's "weakness," then Putin can suddenly afford lots more of it.