Hey everyone. Thanks for your comments about this story. A few weeks later I have mixed feelings about this piece of mine. Of course, I'm continuing to follow the war in Ukraine. I have close relatives and friends in Russia and am able to get their first hand accounts. It's anecdotal but valuable nonetheless. When I say "mixed feelings" I mean that - as it often happens in life even with most dramatic events - things sink in; people adjust to new realities. So what seemed super dramatic at the start of the war is less so now. Are the Russian people surviving the exits of Ikea and McDonalds? Well, of course; why wouldn't they. In fact, I'm hearing from my connections in Moscow that so far not much has changed so far. Everyone's getting on with their lives and consumption. So I guess it's possible to claim that the sanctions are not working. On the other hand, the strategic point of my story is intact: there has been a fundamental blow to Russia's economic development. Decades of laborious work of Russian and Western companies alike - all for nothing. Keep in mind Russia hasn't learned to produce anything other than resources and weapons. There is no indication that now it will suddenly become more self-sustaining; that people will live better. Because there is corruption every, because the institute of property rights is forever broken, because there is no human capital to make it a prosperous nation. On the latter I wrote separately. People are leaving the country. I'm wary of my stories appearing to be always pointing the same direction (dissing the country that was once my home). I absolutely do still hope that Russia can one day become a different country. Peaceful and prosperous. But I guess I stand by what I said when I first reacted to the events: to fuck up like Putin has requires a special talent. Death, decay and isolation, with a flick of a finger.

https://alexeisorokinstories.medium.com/many-of-my-friends-from-moscow-are-no-longer-in-moscow-destruction-of-human-capital-in-russia-5a42ff17ca10

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A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day

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Alexei Sorokin

Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day

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