A former Russian politician, Illya Ponomarev, stated that the war costs Putin 20 billion dollars a day. This seems to be an exaggeration to me. Of course it is impossible to talk about precise figures, but approximately how much can it be? What a range of sums can be considered as more or less plausible? Millions dollars? Tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? Billions?

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    What is "it"? The soldiers shooting or the country living? For example he could spend less on the army but still the rest of the economy could suffer a lot more. (As a comparison, Russia used to spend around 4% of GDP on military before the war). Mar 17, 2022 at 10:29
  • It is hard for me to give a precise definition of "it" unfortunately. But I think that in general my question is quite clear. The war takes money. Every day. It is obvious. How much? I apologise if this question is too vague and cannot be answered reasonably. I can delete it if so Mar 17, 2022 at 10:36
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    "The war takes money." Yes, but from different people in different ways. Without specifying what you mean, you'll get vastly different numbers, not because there is lots of noise but because they all mean a different thing. To make it more specific: Do you only mean operational costs of the Russian army or include also all other costs for the Russian government or all costs for all Russians (you just said Russia)? Please decide what you want to know. Mar 17, 2022 at 12:43
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    Note that the title question "How much is Russia spending" and the first statement in the question "the war costs" are not the same thing. Costs can be incurred that don't entail spending. The $20 billion figure refers to the cost of the war, not the checks written by the Russian government for things like payroll and military supplies in the last three weeks.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 17, 2022 at 17:27
  • @Trilarion it is very hard to estimate how much is the Russian military spending because there are quite a few channels that syphon money, goods and services into Russian military around the government.
    – fraxinus
    Mar 17, 2022 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


About $20 billion per day (source, source). Big part of this comes from economic sanctions. So Illya Ponomarev is right.

The daily cost of war in Ukraine may exceed $20 billion for Russia, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by the Centre for Economic Recovery, CIVITTA and EasyBusiness, said that direct losses in the first four days of the war were about $7 billion, including military equipment and casualties among personnel.

Citing the study, CIVITTA said: "The total daily cost of war for Russia is likely to exceed $20-25 billion given logistics, personnel, rocket launches, etc."

Beyond military costs, the study also mentioned fiscal pressure on the Russian economy, saying: "As a result of sanctions pressure, the financial sector of Russia has suffered irreparable losses."


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