Russian mercenaries killed in Ukraine are inadvertently helping stoke a new cash boom at home in an unusual side effect of the war.

Money paid in compensation for their deaths — which adds up to 5 million rubles ($60,000) per person, on top of any uncollected wages — usually comes stuffed in bags, according to several women who had to travel to pickup points around the country and requested that only their first names be used to speak openly.

Many are being told to avoid depositing the cash at a bank. Oksana from Chelyabinsk in the Urals region, whose husband died fighting for the Wagner paramilitary group in Bakhmut, needed no instructions, saying she wanted no "problems” with the tax system and lacked any documents stating where the money came from.