Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine has been going on for more than six months. The Kremlin deliberately involves the occupied Crimea in a confrontation, criminally trying to separate it from Ukraine and compromise it before the world community.

In previous materials, we analyzed in detail the consequences of such involvement and the role of Crimean collaborators in this process. Regarding the latter, we should note that during the past six months, traitors and pro-Russian puppets did not forget about their own interests, trying to enrich themselves in the war.

They used the situation to make profits at the expense of the residents of the occupied peninsula and “Russian tourists”. Under the guise of supporting the so-called “special operation”, Crimean collaborators and persons close to them actively “earn money” with the permission of Kremlin curators.

Conventionally, war business can be divided into several directions outside the boundaries of Ukrainian legislation, but this does not bother the self-proclaimed “authority” of the Crimea. Experts of the Associaiton of Reintegration of Crimea analyzed the situation in detail.

Let’s start with the spread of the sex industry on the occupied peninsula during the war, which we partially mentioned in the previous material. This specific type of income became at the same time a way of luring “Russian tourists”, who were very frightened by the explosions at the aggressor’s military facilities and began to flee en masse to Russia.

For this purpose, Crimean collaborators spread information through the controlled media that certain cities of the peninsula are already “in the top rating of resorts with easily accessible sex”. In particular, it is noted about Yalta and Simferopol [1]. It should be noted that in 2015 the Russian occupiers bravely reported on the “discovery and closure of a brothel” in Sevastopol, condemning the “immorality and inadmissibility of this type of activity”. Probably, in order to “save the tourist season”, the collaborators turn a blind eye to this kind of income. By the way, in 2018, one of the collaborators, who “heads a branch of the Patriots of Russia” party, Ivan Yermakov, already proposed to the State Duma of the aggressor state to legalize prostitution on the Russia-occupied peninsula.

Today, most of the underground brothels in the occupied Crimea are “crushed” by Crimean collaborators and ‘enforcers” of the Russian occupiers. Their organizers are, as a rule, Russians who moved to the peninsula from different territories of Russia. For example, recently it became known about the organization of a network of brothels in Sevastopol by a resident of Anapa who arrived in the Crimea. A woman from the Moscow region who also established a sex business stood out in Yalta.

Of course, under conditions of total control on the peninsula, local collaborators could not be unaware of such activities. Moreover, the “sea brothels” of the peninsula appear in scandals involving drugs, violence against women and human trafficking. Surprisingly, Crimean collaborators “officially” condemn the sex industry, but at the same time make it “the main advantage” for “vacationers”, who are actively fleeing the occupied peninsula after a series of explosions.

A separate direction of illegal “earnings” of the Crimean collaborators is the sale of cars, household appliances and agricultural products exported from mainland Ukraine as criminal “trophies”. We are talking about a significant number of cars and entire trucks with household appliances and gadgets stolen by the Russian invaders [2]. Considering the world sanctions and the economic crisis on the peninsula, this kind of income for collaborators is “quite promising”, although it is built on blood. The Crimean traitors have even declared that they want to “build a logistics base in Dzhankoy, where they will take agricultural products”. The Russian occupiers also plan to “open a wholesale market in Dzhankoy, where these products will be sold” [3].

It is obvious that it is beneficial to the collaborators for the aggression against Ukraine to last for a long time, because they criminally hope to get as rich as possible on someone else’s grief [4]. Therefore, fruits, vegetables and household chemicals from the newly occupied Ukrainian territories are actively traded in the markets of the occupied Crimea.

Similar goods are openly imported and sold in the markets of large cities of the peninsula. The prices for these seasonal goods are very low, because they were simply stolen from farmers [5]. For example, the occupiers force Kherson farmers to sell watermelons from the field to the occupied Crimea for one hryvnia [6]. That is, the self-proclaimed “authority” of the Crimea, incapable of anything, seeks to “cover the needs” of the local population at the expense of goods stolen from mainland Ukraine. Of course, the Russian occupiers do not allow farmers in the newly occupied territories to export their products to the controlled territory of Ukraine.

Attention should be paid to the sale of low-quality medicines “from Crimea” in the newly occupied territories. This is another direction of enrichment during the war. At the same time, separate sections centrally bring in medicines from the Crimea and sell them on the markets from machines, without any prescriptions and compliance with storage conditions. Very often, these drugs turn out to be of poor quality or expired and cause very significant side effects in citizens who are forced to buy them, because the Russian occupiers do not allow the import of drugs from the territory, controlled by Ukraine [7].
In the pharmacies of the occupied Crimea itself, normal medicines methodically disappear, they are “replaced with Russian analogues”, which very often turn out to be ineffective. Therefore, earning money on medicines is actively developing, that is, in essence, a “black market”, which was organized by dealers who are able to bring “necessary imported drugs” to the peninsula [8].

It should be noted that the prices of medicines on the black market are 50 % higher than the “official” prices, so Crimean residents have to save on other things in order to buy the necessary medicines [9]. This type of illegal enrichment has significant risks, because according to the available data, even uncertified drugs that pose a danger to the lives of Ukrainians are illegally imported to the newly occupied territories from the Crimea.

In turn, high-quality medicines that volunteers try to bring to the occupied territories are confiscated by the invaders and later sold in pharmacies in the Crimea itself [10]. As we can see, the occupiers use all options to enrich the health of Ukrainians in the occupied territories. In this sense, large-scale aggression freed the hands of collaborators and all kinds of businessmen, who felt even greater impunity.

There are known facts when individual businessmen even tried to open pharmacies in the occupied Kherson, but the attempt failed, because the local population does not trust “Russian drugs” [11]. And this is despite the fact that since the beginning of 2022, the death rate in the occupied Crimea has increased by more than 15 % and it is currently twice as high as the birth rate [12]. However, this does not bother the collaborators at all, who simply continue to earn money to destroy the population of the peninsula. They are used to solving the lack of medicines in a special way: simply exclude these drugs from the “list of essentials”. At one time, this happened with drugs against HIV infection and hypoglycemia, as well as with antiasthmatic drugs [13]. Yes, one fake “order” can create the illusion that “there was no problem”.

An important direction of enrichment during the war for collaborators from the Crimea is the sale of fuel in the newly occupied territories. The top of the fake “authority” of the Crimea is interested in this, and it is trying to establish the sale of fuel from the Crimea at gas stations in the Kherson region [14]. This scheme is already actively working in the occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region. There, local collaborators began blackmailing gas station owners by closing them if they did not sell imported Crimean and Russian fuel. The latter are also forced to “re-register” with the criminal occupiers’ “tax authorities” of the in order to “be able to continue working” [15].

Collaborators very clearly see “promising directions” for enrichment and put pressure on the most vital areas of life of the population of the occupied territories. And this despite the fact that the Crimean residents themselves have been complaining about low-quality fuel throughout the years of occupation [16]. It is unlikely that the situation has radically changed now, however, Crimean collaborators stubbornly continue to “evaporate” low-quality fuel not only to Crimeans, but also to residents of the newly occupied territories.

Another direction of criminal earnings of collaborators in the Crimea is the drug trade, which has significantly intensified since the beginning of the large-scale war. Even the aggressor-controlled “local media” talk about an increase in cases of drug trafficking by almost 12 %. The greatest intensification of drug trade is observed in Simferopol, Alushta, Kerch, Dzhankoy, and Bakhchisarai.

For the Russian collaborators, this is probably another way to lure “Russian tourists” to the peninsula, where airfields and ammunition depots periodically explode. And these are not baseless assumptions. Experts note that drug dealers from the Krasnodar Territory, which is in the top ten in terms of drug trafficking in Russia itself, began to actively develop the occupied peninsula from the beginning of the large-scale aggression.

Crimean residents note that the fences and walls of houses are painted with drug advertisements, which indicate Telegram channels, as well as so-called “one-time sites” where you can buy drugs [17]. It should be assumed that the intensification of drug trafficking may be related to the increase in the Russian military contingent on the occupied peninsula, among which there are also many clients of drug dealers.
It should be noted that earlier it was already indicated that the Russian military in the occupied Crimea was massively “addicted to drugs”. It was about the increase in the number of cases of drug use both among soldiers and among the command staff of the aggressor’s military units. At that time, the invaders’ Ministry of Defense even created a special brigade of military doctors who carried out a “complex of preventive measures”, including “raid testing of personnel for the content of narcotic substances in the body” [18].

Probably the business plans of the Crimean collaborators turned out to be a stronger argument, because according to SBU intercepts, the commanders of the occupiers fighting against Ukraine ask their subordinates to get them doses of drugs. Also, the “ordinary” aggressor’s soldiers ask their relatives and acquaintances to organize the delivery of drugs through the occupied Crimea to the front line. At the same time, it becomes clear that the Russian military imports drugs almost “legally”, without any restrictions. They even already have an “common cash” from which they buy drugs and transport them through the Crimea to the war zone [19]. Of course, the Crimean collaborators also make money from such drug trafficking, under the conditions when the occupiers have built a whole drug network to supply their army with drugs.

At the end of August 2022, the Ukrainian authorities stated that the only option to soften the sentence for the Crimean collaborators is to cooperate with Ukraine and provide all the necessary information, because the de-occupation of the peninsula is inevitable [20]. At the same time, the above-examined facts are not only a violation of Ukrainian legislation, but also of international humanitarian law norms, which prohibit looting of the population of the occupied territories, as well as obligate the occupiers to ensure minimum living standards for the Crimeans and the population of the newly occupied territories.

Therefore, the Crimean collaborators should not have any illusions that their earnings during the war are “innocent”, because we are talking about international crimes for which they will have to responce.