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When The Going Gets Tough, Russia's Rich Go Shopping

  • High-end brands see strong sales even as mass market plunges
  • Ruble drop creates bargains of sorts; Hermes expands in Moscow
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With the recession heading into its second year, most Russians are cutting back. Not Yaroslav Gafurov. The 25-year-old Muscovite said now is the perfect time to stock up on his favorite toys -- luxury cars and expensive watches.

He spent the ruble equivalent of about $1 million on new autos in the last year, snapping up a $250,000 Rolls-Royce and a pair of Bentleys, one of which is still on order, as well as a top-of-the-line Mercedes and BMW, he said. Another 70,000 euros went for watches, he said.