Don’t believe the headline. This is one of those articles that begs for skepticism.
To see why, contemplate this basic economic question: Is a man richer for possessing a hoard of gold, or for selling it? The premise of the article is that Russia’s economy is imploding in the sense that Russia isn’t selling enough of its “gold.” That’s a dubious proposition.
It is only common sense to acknowledge that Russia’s economy is experiencing significant disruptions as the result of the war in Ukraine and in consequence of western sanctions. But is its economy “imploding”?
If it were, we should be hearing about shortages of food, clothing, shelter and energy as bad, at least, as the shortages of such things we see in the U.S. But Russian economic implosion of this kind is nowhere documented in the article.
I have a theory that every penny of military spending represents a deadweight loss to the economy in which it occurs. According to this view, every second Russia spends in Ukraine, every bullet it fires is directly damaging to Russia, both immediately and in the long run. But the same is true for Ukraine and for the western powers who provide military support.
Similarly, western sanctions burden Russia by reducing its commerce with the west. The same is true for the west — our own commerce is reduced.
In light of these considerations it makes little sense to delude ourselves that Russia is somehow being crushed beneath the weight of our righteousness.