The Western sanctions have proved painful for the Russian elite not only in terms of finance, but also of image and prestige. However, thanks to the EU's much softer sanctions policy compared to the US, the Russian oligarchs have still been able to conduct their business in Europe, either directly or through intermediaries. Since March 2014, the Kremlin has tried to compensate selected businessmen for at least some of the losses they have suffered. The activities of the Russian state apparatus are a coordinated policy aimed at supporting oligarchs in the immediate vicinity of the president, the costs of which have been borne by Russian society. The flow of assets among individual persons belonging to the Russian elite (both among private businessmen and state-owned companies) which has occurred as a result of the sanctions and the attempts to minimise losses, has revealed the close symbiosis and the blurring of boundaries between private and state capital in Russia.