Insiders say current sanctions do nothing to halt flow of Russian gems to the west because majority are exported rough and get reclassified in India
In the photographs, Vladimir Putin stands with a faint smile on his face. Behind him, the enormous cavern of a mine stretches out, the earth ringed red and ochre. In other photographs from his visit to the Siberian mining city of Mirny, the Russian president is pictured meeting local miners and inspecting one of the dark stones they cut from the earth.
Soon, the rock in his hand will be swept into a vast and complex global supply chain – refined, cut, and polished until it shines and catches the light. Its final form is a glittering diamond – a tiny piece of an industry worth tens of billions of dollars.