Bodies lying lifeless on the roads. Men with their hands tied up behind their backs were executed in basements. Women were raped in front of their children. These are some of the atrocities that are emerging from liberated Ukrainian towns and villages.
In response to these war crimes, the U.S., G7, and the European Union have imposed a fifth wave of sanctions on Russia.
Sanctions Against Russia
The new wave of sanctions introduced five main restrictions:
A full block on Russia’s largest financial institution and largest private bank, respectively Sberbank and Alfa Bank.
A prohibition on new investment in the Russian Federation.
Full blocking sanctions on critical major Russian state-owned enterprises.
A full block on Russian elites and their family members.
The U.S. Treasury blocked Russia from using frozen funds to make debt payments.
“Today, the United States, with the G7 and the European Union, will continue to impose severe and immediate economic costs on the Putin regime for its atrocities in Ukraine, including in Bucha. We will document and share information on these atrocities and use all appropriate mechanisms to hold accountable those responsible,” the White House said in a press release.
“As one part of this effort, the United States is announcing devastating economic measures to ban new investment in Russia, and impose the most severe financial sanctions on Russia’s largest bank and several of its most critical state-owned enterprises and on Russian government officials and their family members. These sweeping financial sanctions follow our action earlier this week to cut off Russia’s frozen funds in the United States to make debt payments. Importantly, these measures are designed to reinforce each other to generate intensifying impact over time,” the White House added.
According to the White House, the sanctions imposed on Russia will contract its gross domestic product by 15 this year alone, thus undoing 15 years of economic growth. Moreover, inflation in the Russian economy is soaring, with forecasts predicting a spike above the 15 percent current increase. Russia is becoming an economic pariah. More than 600 companies have exited the Russian economy.
“Russia will very likely lose its status as a major economy, and it will continue a long descent into economic, financial, and technological isolation,” the White House stated.
Sanctions Against Putin
The sanctions have a personal hue too. The U.S., G7, and the European Union sanctioned Putin’s adult children, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s wife and daughter, and additional members of the Russian security council, including former President and Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
By targeting the family members of Putin and his close advisers, the U.S. and the European Union are attempting to maximize the psychological pressure. To be sure, these sanctions won’t stop the war in Ukraine, but they might shorten it.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.