Five years ago, the boldest and bravest entrepreneurs from across Russia flooded Crimea. Shackled by international sanctions, most major businesses stayed away, and the new territory promised to be a land of opportunity for the go-getters undeterred. Existing local businesses also hoped for windfall profits, following annexation by Ukraine’s relatively wealthier neighbor. The past five years have shown, however, that the business climate today is bleaker not only than it was when Ukraine controlled the peninsula, but also in comparison to Russia on the other side of the Kerch Strait. Meduza visited Crimea to learn more about its business environment, and discovered that outsiders are still largely unwelcome.

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