"Corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds, tax evasion, fraud, and drug trafficking generate significant proceeds. There is a large shadow economy approaching 13 percent of the Russian GDP [Gross Domestic Product], according to the latest estimates by the Federal Statistics Service. Although cash in circulation as a percentage of total money supply has declined from a historical peak of 43 percent on November 1, 1998, to 21.6 percent on September 1, 2020, there was a 23.7 percent surge in the value of cash in circulation in January-September, largely related to COVID-19 restrictions. Financial flows from illicit activity linked to Russia have threatened weak financial institutions in neighboring countries; however, they also make their way to global financial centers, often through opaque shell companies.

"The total amount of funds moved offshore through Russian commercial banks via suspicious transactions declined 72.2 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year to approximately $259.5 million, down from approximately $474.4 million in the same period in 2019, according to the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). Although Russia has made some progress on AML [Anti-Money Laundering], various investigations have alleged the existence of schemes designed to launder billions of dollars out of Russia."


US State Dept. 2021 INCSR–Volume II: Money Laundering (As submitted to Congress). Washington, DC: State Dept. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 2021.