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Sanctions Hell: Putin’s War in Ukraine Is a Failure (But He Won’t Admit It)

Russian Military TOS-1
Russian TOS-1 firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Putin does not want to admit to his sanctions problem: Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, a far-eastern region of Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off the West’s efforts to force his military’s withdrawal from Ukraine. Speaking in Russian, Putin attempted to spin his invasion of Ukraine as a positive thing for Russia.

“We have not lost anything and will not lose anything. In terms of what we have gained, I can say that the main gain has been the strengthening of our sovereignty,” Putin said.

“Of course, a certain polarization is taking place, both in the world and within the country, but I believe that this will only be beneficial, because everything that is unnecessary, harmful and everything that prevents us from moving forward will be rejected.”

But Also Claims Sanctions Are A “Danger” to the World

While Putin attempts to maintain a brave face over the significant impact Western sanctions have had on his economy, the Russian president is simultaneously doing all he can to pressure the West to ease those sanctions. It’s a mixed message and likely one he hopes the Russian people don’t pick up on.

During the very same economic forum in which he claimed his country had lost nothing, the Russian leader insisted that sanctions are a “danger” to the world.

“The pandemic has been replaced by new challenges of a global nature, carrying a threat to the whole world, I’m talking about the sanctions rush in the West and the West’s blatantly aggressive attempts to impose their modus vivendi on other countries, to take away their sovereignty, to submit them to their will,” Putin said.

His message was clear: that the West’s sanctions are effective. But that’s apparently not the message he wanted people to hear.

Putin also used the forum to threaten Europe, suggesting he could make the continent “freeze” by cutting off the gas supply via Nord Stream 1. The pipeline was previously taken offline over a broken turbine, and for the last week, Russia has been inconsistent over whether or not it would reopen. After days of confusion, Putin finally confirmed that the pipeline would be taken back online if the turbine can be repaired, though insisted on Wednesday that it would be cut off again if Europe imposes price caps on Russian oil and gas exports.

The threat was widely seen as an effort to pressure the West into dialing back sanctions against the country or limiting the aid supplied to Ukraine – and it’s not the first time Putin has tried to relieve the pressure of Western sanctions, either.


Russian President Putin. Image Credit: Russian Government.

Putin says Russia has lost nothing, but the Russian president’s efforts to stop the West’s sanctions – along with his industrial manufacturing industry’s total inability to produce new advanced weapons – suggest otherwise.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.



  1. A A Ron

    September 8, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    This article is delusional. Our sanctions are setting the condition for a severe recession in Western Europe due to fuel prices; not only used for heating but also used to run industries. At the same time, Russia is setting up a parallel financial system that doesn’t depend on the SWIFT system or the US dollar, which will preclude the US from ever seizing financial assets again. Sanctions did not make any difference on the battlefield in this war, but they are harming our allies economically.

    As for weapons, they appear to have “good enough” weapons to fight their kind of fight: relentless industrial artillery land combat. Their weapons and quantities have absorbed and depleted much of the West’s stockpiles, and taken a terrible toll on Ukraine.

    Ukrainians admitted to WaPo – a cheerleader for Ukraine – that 5 Ukrainians are dying for each Russian in the “counteroffensive” and that Russia has an enormous advantage in armored vehicles, artillery, drones, air superiority, etc. The bottom line is that Ukraine made some temporary and tiny dents in the Russian line while losing a lot of personnel and materiel; Ukraine is wrecked and they achieved nothing.

    This author’s articles indicate a person who has decided to propagandize for Ukraine instead of being objective.

  2. JoeBob

    September 8, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Does Vlad do anything other than snivel? Russian people must be incredibly stupid to believe his line of lies. HIMARS humiliation for the weak little man.

  3. Walker

    September 8, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Russia can’t win. Ukraine has shown that over the last 24 hours. I’m not convinced that Ukraine can push Russia completely out. But Ukraine does not need to sue for peace. It is Russia that needs to do that and after 2014 – 2022, it is clear that Russia can never be trusted. Only utter humiliation can teach Russia that Ukraine is free and maintains its sovereignty. The west should continue to support Ukraine in its quest for freedom just as France helped the colonies in our Revolutionary War.

    It really is simple. All Ukraine has to do is keep up the pressure. Continue the fight and continue to give Russia high casualties and the Russian People will finally give up. Russia does not have this option. The only way Russia can win is to take Kiev. Which even Russians realize is completely impossible. The backup idea that they can take Donbas and Kherson and have a referendum is not going to work. Ukraine and the rest of the world will ignore it and the war will battle on. Eventually, the Russian people will tire of the senseless war that just gets Russians killed. Even the staunchest Russian Fascists will come to realize that it isn’t working and look for someone to blame. That will eventually be Putin.

  4. Yrral

    September 9, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Ukrainain special forces general say ,he beg to difference about the war he should know,he once headed Ukraine Special Forces Google Krivonos Zelensky

  5. Yrral

    September 9, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    As long as Russian do not have too rebuild Ukraine,they already have won,yes the West has 100 of billions in their assets, Russian would go to war with those,who hand them over to Ukrainain ,the US is not doing it ,the European are like a bunch chicken with their head cut clucking and strutting trying to hide behind the power of the US,we are the only thing that between Russia and them

  6. Gary Jacobs

    September 9, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Yrral – lol, It’s actually close to $400 Billion of Russian assets frozen in the west. And reports from the last few days indicate it will be a case by case basis in each local jurisdiction on using those legal mechanisms for transferring the funds to Ukraine. At this point it’s basically a huge escrow account waiting for the war to close. Or at least closer to closing.

    As for the EU ‘hiding behind US power’… the power of NATO is collectively bring power to bear on Imperialists like Putin’s Russia, with the US in the lead. But this would not be possible without Poland, The UK, the Baltic States, and others who have done their fair share of supporting Ukraine.

    That said, Orders for HIMARS are rolling in from the EU to Taiwan, and Poland is buying 250 M1 Abrams tanks as well as up to 90 Apache Helicopters. As well, there will be close to 550 F35 Stealth Fighters in Europe before too long.

    It’s pretty clear from this war in Ukraine that US made gear works a hell of a lot better than Russian gear. Match that with well motivated people fighting for their freedom such as the Ukrainians are… and the Russians are being defeated.

    You should probably start to learn that you need better sources of information, and pry yourself away from Putin Boot licking so you can join the rest of the free world in building a better future.

    Have a nice day.

  7. Yrral

    September 10, 2022 at 9:46 am

    Who better source can a person get,when Ukrainain tell to world,they cannot do anything like basics government,having others to tell them ,they should be not be so corrupt Google Ukrinform Google New Voice Ukraine

  8. Gary Jacobs

    September 10, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Yrral… lol, no one denies Ukraine has had its problems. The reality is that the vast majority of those problems have been due to Russia meddling in their affairs, causing corruption, and poisoning their political candidates… and now a full blown invasion. Now that Russia has brutally shown the full extent of its true nature, and the bond between Ukrainians has been forged in blood, Ukraine can now perhaps have a real shot at getting its act together. Its also nice that the EU has stepped up, and many of the countries like Germany that were too far on the Russia side, have switched to Ukraine. When guys like Gerhard Schroeder go from being the leader of the German State to employed by Gazprom, what chance does a country like Ukraine have to fend of Russian meddling. Schroeder is now PNG, Nord Stream 2 will never go on line… and Germany has provided massive amounts of aid to Ukraine.

    Untangling Russian corruption across the EU will take more time, but it has begun… and Ukraine has a chance to finally be free of Russian corruption and oppression. You should get on board that train.

  9. James Summerton

    September 10, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Imagine being a russian right now. Your precious military has just buckled in the north east… its like a hot knife through you pieces of butter. The world laughs at you soviets.

  10. James Summerton

    September 10, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    The trashianns (aka russian trash) has just admitted to having their backs broken in the north east. You are just a bunch of wheelchair bound trash now.

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