Foreign Policy Magazine published a report that reviewed the decline of the Russian Ruble in conjunction with the war in Ukraine and then its return to the pre-war levels, which raises a wave of questions about Moscow's ability to recover so quickly.
A few days ago, the US dollar exchange rate returned to about 80 Russian rubles, approximately the exact exchange rate before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Western sanctions, which affected many sectors and business people, initially destroyed the Russian currency, but it rebounded a few days ago and returned to its previous levels.
"The impression that the Russian currency has recovered is not correct, but rather a deceptive impression," said Adam Tours, an economic analyst and writer at Foreign Policy.
He added, "The Russians understand that the point of the game was to hit their currency. It was done through the sanctions on the central bank, which was the dramatic aspect of the new sanctions during the first week of the war, so they set the recovery of the currency value as their main goal."
"The Russians are completely manipulating the Russian currency market, as much as they control it at home," Tours told Foreign Policy. "They are restricting how foreigners who have invested in Russia, or anyone else, can sell the ruble."
Russians are increasingly asking Europeans to pay for gas in Russian rubles through direct or indirect means. According to Tours, the Russian authorities are creating "artificial sources of demand for the Ruble. Because in the end, it is the balance between supply and demand that determines the value of a currency.
He notes that they ask Russian exporters who can still earn foreign currency to exchange them for rubles. As much as 80% of their export earnings must go to the Ruble. Every time this process repeats, it creates a demand for the rouble. All in all, Russia has a considerable trade surplus right now, and that would be the kind of economic situation in which you would expect the currency to rise.
In late February, Russia began a large-scale military operation in Ukrainian. After the invasion, western countries started imposing harsh economic sanctions on Russia, which led to a dramatic devaluation of the Ruble.