The Kremlin reportedly spent 3.1 trillion rubles (approximately $38.7 billion) in an undisclosed section of the Russian budget in 2023, likely to fund the war and maintain occupied territories in Ukraine.
Independent Russian news outlet The Bell reported that the Russian Ministry of Finance released data on May 16 on budget expenditures since the start of 2023, amounting to a total of 11.9 trillion rubles ($148.5 billion) with only 8.8 trillion rubles ($109.8 billion) accounted for in Russia’s public budget, leaving 3.1 trillion rubles – over a quarter of Russia’s expenditures – unaccounted for.
The Bell reported that most undisclosed budget items account for defense, national security, and law enforcement, and that some may fall onto social and other expenditures in occupied Ukraine. The Bell also reported that the unspecified spending is higher than in the same time period in previous years.
ISW continues to assess that the Russian economy will struggle to meet the needs of the large-scale war that the Russian military is fighting in Ukraine and to sustain its occupation of Ukrainian territories.