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There are signs of impending economic collapse in Russia despite reassuring rhetoric from President Putin.

The country is in the grip of one of the heaviest sanction regimes ever imposed, which will soon be intensified as Brussels discusses a ban on its oil.

Yet the economy appears resilient. In Moscow and St Petersburg, bars, cafés and restaurants throng with customers. The rouble, which lost a quarter of its value after the invasion, has rebounded.

Putin said yesterday that the economy was “confidently managing in the face of external challenges” and boasted that the rouble was “probably showing the best dynamics among all international currencies”.

Experts say this is little more than a bluff, however. According to a leaked document published this week, the Russian finance