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Russians needing a new car can barter their underwear instead of using currency—although they must be premium, unworn undies. After all, this is for a new car! Ads are appearing in Russian newspapers and online that offer a car for 2.5 million rubles worth of underwear. Another will trade wood for food or medicine.
Bartering is clearly back with a vengeance in Russia. A heavy equipment maker is offering to pay debt with excavators. In the 1990’s, barter made up at least 50 percent of sales for medium-sized businesses, and sometimes up to 75 percent for larger businesses.