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Sanctions against Vladimir Putin and Russia won’t work

Several days ago, I accused the West—including the United States—of timidity in its response to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

The subsequent reply by Europe, the U.S. and other nations has been a series of increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russian banks, wealthy oligarchs living abroad and even President Vladimir Putin himself. 

That is good.  However, as strong as these measures are, they won’t stop Russia’s military campaign.

Multiple news reports and analyses by various Russian experts and think tanks make it clear that Putin believes his campaign will be victorious—regardless of the stiff resolve by the Ukraine people and military to date.

Despite nearly universal condemnation by the world’s community, China and India remain silent.  They have economic and military reasons for their reticence.  Both nations abstained when the United Nations General Assembly condemned the invasion.

And China especially has aligned itself with Moscow out of its own self interest as it seeks hegemony in the Far East.

The brutal truth is that short of actual military troops from the West, Ukraine is doomed.  The only question is when it will happen and how much of the nation Russia will occupy.

It is a welcome sign that Ukraine’s European neighbors are opening their borders to allow easy entry for the more than one million refugees who have fled their embattled country.

And the United States, too, will provide new homes for many as it has done historically.

Europe and the United States have no taste for war.  That is understandable.  But absent so-called “boots on the ground”, Ukraine will fall, and Vladimir Putin will achieve his goal—to bring the nation under Russian subjugation.

Words and sanctions notwithstanding, we let it happen.

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