July 18, 2022

The BBC's Francis Scarr translated this bizarre news report of a family proud that their son had died in Ukraine. They said they were honouring his memory by taking the compensation they received and bought his dream car, what appears to be a brand new Lada Vesta, the most popular car in Russia. If that's the case, they run about 1 million rubles right now, or about $17,500 USD. Up about 20% in price since the Ukraine invasion.

The Russians call such compensation "coffin money" as it usually amounts to just enough money to pay for a funeral, headstone, and coffin.

A more basic model, the Granta, is stripped down to the bare bones and probably couldn't be sold in North America.

This widow seems to have not been so fortunate as the family above. She is still fighting for compensation for her dead husband. All she has received so far is a new refrigerator, which appears to have been stolen from Ukraine.

A longer report just made available on YouTube yesterday details the struggles these women and families often have to go through to receive anything at all from the Russian government. It is maddening to watch though.

Russian journalist and researcher at the Wilson Center (and often Putin critic) Kamil Galeev explained the cold-blooded economics behind all this, families urging their sons to go to Ukraine.

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