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3 weeks later

Posted by Hajduk on Thursday, March 17 2022 at 3:38:55PM
In reply to Too pessimistic? posted by Stephen James on Thursday, March 17 2022 at 0:19:07PM

The West is basically still doing purely symbolic actions. Domestic and multi party (EU, UN, NATO, for instance) condemnations don't do anything (Indeed most European leaders have said that the Ukraine will not be fast tracked into NATO). Banning foreign pr0nz or fast food doesn't do anything, and even may benefit civilian Russians. Banning social sites prevents Russia from passing on its version to the West but also the West from passing on theirs to Russia. Banning of Russians from participation in diverse international activities (Paralympics, professional sports, Eurovision, even banning Russian cats and dogs from exhbitions -- because of course Russian Blues and Syberian Huskies are firing from tanks and planes) also doesn't do anything. Refusing to buy Russian oil and gas hurts worse most of Europe through increasing costs than Russia through lost income; and benefits other unsavory regimes in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and even Venezuela. The one sanction which does hurt Russia the most: banking exclusions, harms Putin and oligarchs as much as it does civilian Russians. Since Putin knows all of this and sees the West willing to bark hard but bite soft; I don't see why he would stop and I don't see why he would not see appeasement as a show of weakness from the West and of strength by his own side. Obviously the positions of both countries are irreconcilable so I don't see what they could ever be negotiating in meetings, but if Russia was willing to concede something, if only to save face and stop the sanctions, they've had several opportunities to do so.

I really thought this war was avoidable by giving Russia a bone. I no longer think so.

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