Legal Business

Aboard the propaganda train – sweat and spin amid a turbulent Russian market

Despite sanctions, a currency collapse and falling oil prices, Russia’s lawyers are doing better than expected. For now.

There’s an old Russian joke about a foreigner who visits the Soviet Union. Knowing his letters will be read by the state censor, he devises a system to communicate with friends back home. If his letter is written in black ink, the message is true. If it is written in red ink, the message is false. Eventually his friends receive a letter from Russia written in black ink: ‘Dear friends, I hope this letter reaches you. Contrary to the lies in our press, life in the Soviet Union is wonderful. Food is plentiful, apartments are spacious and well heated, and there are no shortages. In fact, the only thing I can’t find here is red ink.’