Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is standing all by himself on the world playground. He is there, because he attacked Ukraine, bombed some of its cities out of existence, imported Ukrainians to re-education camps aka gulags, and committed war atrocities. The member countries of the West, led by U.S. President Joe Biden believe they are punishing Putin with sanctions. Are they right?
We could label the members of Putin’s military terrorists, and that might offend him, but would it really make that much of a difference? According to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports’ special coverage, General Barry McCaffrey said on Tuesday:
‘Putin does not care about money. He cares about power.’
Russia’s oligarchs are not going to remove Putin from power, because in essence, they work for him. And his generals are too afraid of him to act.
Expert on the Russian military at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Rita Konaev, said regarding Russia that there is no such thing as “reformists inside the government.” They simply “don’t exist.”
Tuesday, after photos of the Ukrainian atrocities appeared, the U.S. has once again imposed sanctions. This series fills most of the holes in the earlier sanctions. In addition, the White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told us that President Joe Biden was going to go after Putin’s adult daughters’ finances and two of Russia’s biggest banks.
A high-level White House official said, according to The Bloomberg News:
‘Putin’s daughters Mariya Putina and Katernia Tikhonova are the targets of the sanctions. U.S. officials believe many of Putin’s personal assets are hidden with family members, which is why the western allies are targeting them.’
Russia’s economy has already taken a hit with the earlier sanctions. He will eventually run out of money to pay for this war, probably before the year’s end. But can Ukraine make it that long? Russia attacked Ukraine beginning in 2014 when it stole Crimea and attacked eastern Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine.
Deese went to a breakfast held by The Christian Science Monitor where he was featured speaker, according to Bloomberg News. He said that sanctions were “tied to international coordination:”
‘The impact of sanctions operate across time and … they operate by maintaining unanimity. Anyone who looks at the Russian economy right now and thinks they’re bouncing back or showing some signs of life is I think missing the forests for the trees. Russia is] completely ostracized.’
Then, Deese added:
‘[T]he new sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa Bank would come with a new U.S. prohibition on all inbound investment in Russia by any Americans, as well as sanctions on several state-owned Russian enterprises, including an aircraft and shipbuilding corporation. The steps are being announced in coordination with the G-7 and European Union. New sanctions will also be imposed on family members of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.’
President Joe Biden has been working masterfully to quickly ease Europe and other countries away from Russia’s primary export and source of income: oil and gas. The prices of these have gone up, but not much else in spite of countries remaining relatively static in their energy usage.
At first, it appeared that the original sanctions were going to render the ruble worthless, valued down to a fraction of a penny. But Putin’s government bought the currency, and the ruble regained its value.
Biden said in a union speech Tuesday, MSNB’s MTP Daily with Chuck Todd:
‘If I have to go for war, I want to go with you guys.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Three White Lions is Gloria Christie’s new serialized book available in episodes on Amazon. Go to Kindle Vella and insert her name. She also writes for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.