Rich Russians are flocking to Cyprus to become – not Russian. Foreigners can become citizens here in less than six months in exchange for investing two million euros
In Limassol, on the southern coast of Cyprus, shop signs in Cyrillic outnumber those in Greek. Yachts emblazoned with Russian monikers fill berths in a newly built marina. And just past the office of radio station Russkaya Volna, restaurants lining the boardwalk serve pelmeni with, of course, vodka.
This Moscow-on-the-Mediterranean has blossomed as Russians and their money flock to the tiny European outpost to become, in a sense, not Russian. Long known as a hub for offshore Russian finance – and more recently as a focus of investigations into Russian links to President Donald Trump’s entourage – Cyprus has enabled a more sophisticated way to camouflage those funds