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Sanctions against Russia: Why and how they work, or should work

Article by Vladimir Dubrovskiy and Krassen Stanchev

August 10, 2022

Sanctions against Russia: Why and how they work, or should work

“What’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history. Humanity’s greatest political achievement has been the decline of war. That is now in jeopardy”.

Yuval Noah Harari[1]


After the horror and shock at Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, and atrocities committed against civilians, the tide seemed to turn with several loud voices arguing that the West should allow Putin to save face, that Ukraine could not win, and that the nuclear and other military threats are likely to materialise. It is no surprise that leftist politicians, some postmodern thinkers and isolationists express such views. But, regretfully, they are appearing in the mainstream thinking as well.


Blame has been placed on politicians for ignoring academic literature and calculations on economic sanctions, specifically with reference to punitive sanctions imposed on Russia since March this year. However, the genuine scientific approach distinguishes itself primarily not by its respect for the literature, but by the reliance on facts and logic as opposed to wishful thinking, opinions, and assumptions. From this perspective arguments by proponents of an immediate compromise on Putin’s conditions that would allow for the lifting of the sanctions are deadly flawed.


At the heart of the argument are short-term economic calculations of the pain inflicted by sanctions to Russia and the rest of the World. It is put forward that the goal of the sanctions, whatever it is, is not worth the price paid by the countries imposing them – because they will suffer more in terms of welfare loss than Russia does. This may be so in absolute terms. However, regardless of the real magnitude of such a ratio of the losses, this argument hardly makes any economic sense and should be regarded rather as a manipulation of the truth or distortion of reality.


Wars are destructive to both conquered people and territories and conquerors. Sanctions against Russia are far from exhausting the impact of war on the economies and people of the countries involved. Recent assessments of the war’s global impacts predict higher commodity prices, additional long-lasting high inflation and increased risks of stagflation, recession, and social unrest.[2] Inflation in the EU has been triggered by government spending, debts and follow-up monetary expansion, incapacity to enforce monetary constraints, including the so called ‘quantitative easing’. However, the war, sanctions and counter-sanctions are likely to result in additional, not yet statistically detected, inflation. It comes from expectations about the future and hedging against perceived upcoming risks – all aggravated by the war. For them one should hold accountable the aggressor and what matters is the general principle: war expense results in higher inflation.


Still, as long as international trade benefits all involved parties, the restrictions put on it incur losses on all parties.


In economics all macro reasoning is based, or should be based, on practical experiences. With embargoes and sanctions one such experience is that they punish everyone but not necessarily (and in the first place) those responsible. This is indeed the story of similar sanctions imposed on regimes similar to Putin’s in ex-Yugoslavia, Iraq and Iran. And this is a legitimate point in all criticisms of sanctions, irrespective of the world view, political, geopolitical or methodological background the critique is built on.


However, at least in two of these cases they had political effect: contributed to the regime change in former Yugoslavia, and forced Iran to the compromise on its nuclear program.


Economics is about rational choices made by economic agents comparing the graduations of cost and benefit of different options from which to choose from. Therefore, a comparison of losses incurred by unrelated agents is pointless because it cannot be used for making a choice by either of them.


Instead, the West as a rational player should compare the losses from sanctions to the opportunity costs, i.e. the costs of not imposing sanctions. More precisely, the total cost of helping Ukraine in defeating Russia, that along with sanctions includes also direct expenses on military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, should be compared to the cost of doing nothing. The latter costs may seem to be zero, but this is wrong.


Let us even put aside the moral component, including not only the West’s humiliation, but, most of all, terrifying atrocities to which the Ukrainians remaining under the Russian occupation are being exposed, exemplified by Bucha. If we remain within the realms of economic logic, a correct calculus should compare the imagined states of the world in two cases: with and without sanctions and help.


In the first case there is a good chance of getting rid of the current Kremlin regime; in the second case this regime has a good chance to strengthen itself by defeating Ukraine and humiliating the West. This second case will be strikingly different from the one before 24th February because the situation has changed irreversibly; this is a fact many people in the world fail to recognise.


In order to understand the difference a shift from pure economics to political economy and even more ‘soft’ social sciences, such as history and political science is necessary. The logic and historical arguments below are developing the suggestion made by Yuval Noah Harari in his pre-war article, where he argues that “what’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history”.[3]


What is at stake?

Contrary to the unscrupulous statements, the Kremlin aggression is not about Ukraine’s possible NATO membership. Putin in his speech on 21st February has explicitly stated that he considers the existence of independent Ukraine a historical misunderstanding that he will correct by cancelling its statehood. His troops’ actions have since then made it very clear that Russia is committed to annihilating Ukraine as an independent state. The Kremlin sees an all-out military aggression as a “legitimate” way to achieve this goal, as well as simply expanding the Russia’s territory.


These are essentially fascist ideas, as Timothy Snider has recently explained.[4] Russia is ruled by a fascist regime endowed with nuclear weapons. Moreover, the main subject of its aggression is not the Ukrainian nation, but the liberal Western values it embraces, or, more broadly, the West and its values in general – Putin and his cronies are absolutely explicit in this.[5]


Many left-wing politicians, friends of the Kremlin in Europe, right-wing political scientists and sensible economists do not acknowledge that today’s Russia meets almost all the criteria for a fascist state: a cult of the past; an often illusory grandeur and a cult of the dead; sadness at the loss of imperial greatness; resentment at the ‘injustice’ of history; a view that the outside world is hostile; a cult of a single leader; and a belief that ‘justice’ should be restored through war and the conquest of new territories.


The very existence of such a regime poses a concrete threat to the rest of the world because the essence of fascism is aggression augmented with denial of the basic principles of rule of law, international order, human rights, etc.; they are being replaced with the use of force. There are only two ways of dealing with such aggressive and dangerous regimes: either imposing an iron cage on them, or neutralising them. An iron cage here means the need for high military expenditures not only for the fascist country itself but for all potential subjects of its aggression. When such a country possesses nuclear missiles, everybody on Earth is in danger and pays the price. This is simply ignored by short-sighted economic calculations. This price is really enormous, many times above the one of the sanctions, weapons supplied to Ukraine, and all the damages the war brings taken together.


Prof. Harari argues that military expenses as a share of total government spending declined dramatically in the post-WWII world. He attributes this to exactly those revolutionary changes in human culture that fascism challenges. Economists would question if this reduction cannot be confused by the dramatic increase of government spending as a share of GDP that took place simultaneously. Still, this conclusion holds even if we consider only the share of military spending in the GDP, the progress in the last 60 years is remarkable.[6]


Note that, contrary to the widespread misconception, WWII did not put an end to fascism in Snider’s meaning. The losers were indeed de-Nazified and demilitarised so that almost no trace of fascism can be observed in their contemporary societies or government politics. But the USSR continued preparing for a new World War, with a belligerent rhetoric, and huge investments in armaments. This was mirrored by large military spending of the potential victims of aggression.


The situation changed after the Cuba missile crisis. The Soviet Union failed to enforce its threats (in spite of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact and then of Afghanistan) and had to admit that war could not be an option – thereby abandoning its principal fascist policy component. Instead, it focused on an economic race with the West that it lost miserably. The arms race continued, however, and the USSR lost it too. When the USSR disintegrated, this allowed the rest of the world to further reallocate resources to enhance welfare spending so that according to the World Bank’s data, from 1960 to the end of the Cold War in 1985 the world’s military spending as share of GDP declined from 6.3% to 4.2%, and then further to 2.4% by 2020.


This happened because for the first time in history the world order became based on the primacy of the respect for the international rules, including internationally recognised borders, universal human rights, and non-intervention in domestic affairs. It was, of course, not completely without wars and deficiencies. But most of the world’s rule breakers, such as Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, or Osama Bin Laden, were acknowledged as “villains” and were eliminated, politically, by means of war and/or in the face of an international tribunal.


In a general sense it was a ‘unipolar world’ with the US acting as a global ‘sheriff’. Such a sheriff may not always be wise and fair, but as long as they remain sane due to real democratic control, such a law and order regime is still a far better option than the rule of force.


There was, however, a notable exemption to the rule. Since 1992, the military spending as a share of GDP for the Russian Federation is twice as high as the world average, and three or more times higher than in neighboring countries, including Georgia until 2004 and Ukraine until 2014. From the post-Communist countries (if not in the Northern Hemisphere), Russian is the only state, which in the last 30 years annexed a territory from a neighboring country (Crimea) and occupied and then recognised the ‘statehood’ of five other territories, one in Moldova, two in Georgia and Ukraine. Like in older Soviet precedents of Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan, the Kremlin did not like the political developments in those countries. As laid out, Putin-led Russia has built a fascist regime on militaristic and imperial sentiments, deliberately provoked by the Kremlin. As a result, every time Putin needs a boost to his public support, he starts a war, with no serious punishment so far. The calculations he has made up to now were politically rational, not economically.


It was the Second Chechen War that brought him to power. Despite striking similarities with Kosovo, the Russian atrocities in Chechnya brought hardly any reaction out of the West. Then Putin explicitly expressed his intentions of toppling the world order, particularly by promising to weaponise oil and gas exports in Munich when in 2007 Russia enjoyed historically high prices on oil and gas markets. This “promise” was met with surprise, at best modest outrage, and sometimes even with understanding.


Putin drew the correct conclusions out of this reaction and when his popularity, which was gained on the back of the price boom, became endangered by the burst in 2008 he successfully upheld it by an outright aggressive war against Georgia. The reaction appeared to be more than modest again, with the infamous ‘reload’ following.


The next time he needed a boost to his popularity, then undermined by income stagnation, augmenting mass corruption and the stolen 2011 elections (see the chart by the Levada Centre data), he annexed Ukrainian Crimea in March 2014 and sent the mercenaries, often supported by regular troops, into Ukraine’s Donbas.[7] This time there was a reaction in the form of economic sanctions, accompanied with excluding Russia from the G8. However, unlike in similar cases of Saddam Hussein’s conquest of Kuwait, or Slobodan Milosevic supporting Serbian separatism in neighboring countries, none of Putin’s acquisitions were reversed and no effective sanctions imposed. Moreover, the West convinced Ukraine not to fight for Crimea. The Russian economy has since stagnated, at least partly due to the sanctions, but these were too weak to force it to change course.


This outrageous violation of international law (including the Budapest Memorandum, under which Ukraine surrendered its – the third largest in the world – nuclear arsenal in exchange for guarantees of its sovereignty from all other nuclear powers, including Russia, China and the US) effectively destroyed the world order and led to a return back to the pre-perestroika years, if not pre-Cuba era. This led Ukraine to sharp increases in the military spending.


At the time no one else was sober enough to face this sad truth and make the necessary hard choices. The West found excuses for its passivity. It did not start investing in defense and security (e.g. energy one), nor work to counteract the aggressor. Of course, no one could propose attacking a nuclear power with military force. Making it really pay financially for its nefarious actions and depriving it from the possibilities to modernise its weaponry would have been an option. Unfortunately, no state was ready to bear the related cost.


On the wake of the post COVID-19 recovery of 2021, the EU reinforced its 2018 central nudging plan of a ‘Green Deal’ by redesigned intervention via programs like the ‘Next Generation EU – COVID-19 recovery package’, or the ‘Just Transition Mechanism: making sure no one is left behind’ – the policy instrument that closes coal power plants to substitute the fuel with natural gas (as a transit energy resource). In reality the Green Deal and the enhanced EU addiction to energy supplies, were and to a large extend still are an effective subsidies to natural gas imports from Russia (at 45% import dependency).


The worth of EU’s goods’ imports from Russia grew from EUR 158.5 billion to 162.4 billion and were dominated by fuel and mining products (62% of the total). As to the world, on year on year basis the exports from Russia went up by 72%, to the post-Soviet countries – by almost 77%.[8]


The growth of Russia’s economy to the level of 2020 and especially the growth of oil export revenues in 2018 and 2021 (by about 41% and at the highest level since 2006) are the main source of financing the war with Ukraine. According to the World Bank data, in 2021 Russia’s GDP recuperated to USD 1.78, 11th in the world of 196 countries. Relative to the EU, Russian economy was 1/10 of the Union’s GDP. But the West negligence of Kremlin’s disrespect of international law seem to be working well for Russia.


When the same regime saw its internal support begin to start erode again, it did what it has done before, albeit on a much larger scale – and the hard choice described above reappeared again, but with much more at stake.


What proponents of Russia fail to understand is that the situation for the West changed irreversibly on 24th February, or, in fact, eight years before, when Russia annexed Crimea.


There cannot be a ‘business as usual’ approach with Russia any more. And if the Kremlin regime survives there is an increased risk the whole world order of the last few decades will crash. If the international agreements are as futile as they appear, the world will return to the rule of the strongest. Then, China can grab Taiwan, Serbia can go “de-nazifying” the neighboring post-Yugoslav countries, North Korea can blackmail with its nuclear missiles, and Russia can continue raising the stakes in its confrontation with the West.


Consider the possible scenarios while taking into account the peculiar Kremlin regime:


  1. Ukraine wins, the West helps and sanctions defeat Russia, and it dismantles its current regime. The pre-war world order is back, and gets strengthened because this is a serious warning for possible future aggressors. There are some risks associated with the Kremlin’s decay, explained in another article, but they are not our subject here.[9] Before the regime falls, the rest of the world pays an uncertain indirect price due to the sanctions and costs of post-war reconstruction (financed hopefully by reparations that Russia will be forced to pay).
  2. Russia defeats Ukraine, eliminates her statehood, wipes out her culture, and successfully expands its own empire. Although the West will never recognise this conquest (as it was the case with the Baltic countries during their occupation by the USSR), sanctions will nevertheless be lifted, because ‘they have no effect’ and ‘Russia should not feel humiliated’. As a result, Putin’s regime internally solidifies, just as it was after the Crimea annexation. It will allow Putin to successfully arrange the power transition in case of his death or serious illness. Russia will get a new momentum for militarisation and learn the lessons from its war against Ukraine: it can do whatever it wants as this is just a matter of being impudent and owning nuclear weapons. The West has to either surrender, which is politically unimaginable, or sharply increase its military spending to the pre-Cuba levels: it would mean an additional 4% of its GDP (USD 3.8 trillion) of unproductive expenditures that would also increase inflation.
  3. A ‘Finnish compromise’ whereby Ukraine retains its sovereignty but loses some territories and has to agree on a neutral status with limitations in its military capacities. Note, however, that the Russian culture does not value compromise. This is one of its most important differences with the West. Russian and Soviet diplomats were taught that there cannot be a win-win solution because everything is a zero-sum game. Therefore, even if ‘nobody wins’ this would be perceived by Putin as a defeat, because he failed to reach his main goal that he publicly declared for this war: the elimination of Ukrainian statehood. At the same time, he will ‘save face’ by presenting Ukraine’s territorial and sovereignty concessions as a ‘victory’ for his people, thereby maintaining and enhancing his own popularity. This means that quite soon Russia will restore its military capacities, learn the lessons of its mistakes in the war, and next time increase the stakes further. In other words, just like in case of a Russian victory, we will be in the pre-Cuba world again.


The real choice the West, therefore, faces is between: 1) increasing the military spending at least 2.5 times, approximately for an additional 4% of GDP (Germany has already raised them by 100 billion euros); or 2) bearing the cost of getting rid of Russia’s fascist regime now, which is estimated by CEPR at 0.5% of GDP in the loss from sanctions and about the same amount in military aid.[10] This is altogether about four times less than in the ‘do nothing’ option. It is clear what the rational choice in this case must be. Note that eight years ago this price would have been about 50% lower. If decision-makers avoid this choice again, next time the price will be much higher again.


What about Russia?

So far we have focused on the West’s calculations. But what about the second actor – Russia? Cannot it be motivated to return to normal behaviour too, or is the regime’s destruction the only way? And, in any case, can the sanctions do the trick?


Unfortunately, there is no pure economic solution to this problem, because, as mentioned above, the very calculations that a fascist regime makes is not economic, but political. Of course, support for the regime depends on its economic performance and expectations of increased future wealth. Unlike democracies however, it is not a leading factor for ideologically indoctrinated people brainwashed by constant propaganda. Not to mention the repressive apparatus that allows for ignoring the peoples’ interests to a large extent, if not completely. Otherwise such a regime could not wage a war that is always economically disastrous, apart from the death toll.


The imperial instinct that Putin exploits is based on presupposition rooted in the Agrarian Age when grabbing of territories increased the metropolis’ wellbeing. In fact, the annexation of Crimea in 2014 was at least followed by major economic downturn and a ruble devaluation. They were mainly caused by oil price fall but the modest sanctions of those times also could have certain effect.


In 1992, the GDP of the Russian Federation was USD 359.5 billion US dollars, and in 2013 – almost USD 2.3 trillion. That is, in 2013 the economy of the Russian Federation was about 1/5 of the economy of the EU then. In 2014, however, Russia’s GDP ‘shrunk’ to about two trillion dollars. In 2015, as a result of the international situation, the annexation of Crimea and the orientation to dominate the former USSR through the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russia’s GDP was already USD 1.36 trillion, and in 2016 – 1.27 trillion US dollars. As noted above, size-wise in 2021, the economy of Russia was already 10% of the EU. Nevertheless, the public approval rates of Russian authorities remained at their historical high and only started to deteriorate in 2018.


Therefore, economic incentives seem futile in preventing or halting wars like the present one, as are expectations that Russia can return to civilised behaviour under its present political regime.


Moreover, if the regime had been at least politically rational, it would never have started the war. For this reason most rational experts, including the authors, failed to predict Kremlin’s horrendous aggression. Russia’s behaviour lacks any rationality, which is either due to Putin’s illness, his admiration for cults, or misinformation. Therefore, ensuring removal of the Kremlin regime is the only way of returning to the ‘business as usual’ of the last 30 years.


How can this be accomplished? The rest of the world has only two tools: 1) a defeat on the battlefield by the Ukrainian military, if sufficiently equipped; and 2) sanctions. None of these can be sufficient in itself, but put together they have a good chance to break the regime’s backbone.[11]


The orders within the regime’s hierarchy are being fulfilled only as long as the members perceive its time horizon as infinite. Opponents to sanctions have a point that maintaining modest pains result in ‘rallying around the flag’ rather than any pressure in the desired direction. But should the members of formal and, more importantly, informal verticals of power realise that the hierarchy’s days are numbered, they could start behaving more opportunistically. All of them currently would still like to continue serving, and all are fearing the breakup, but with a finite time horizon they would get engaged in the collective one-shot prisoners’ dilemma game.


This is exactly how the academic literature describes the premature meltdown of the USSR, which caused, among other things, the deliberate policies of the Reagan administration.[12] Remember that Reagan came to power, partly, on the backdrop of his predecessor’s weak reaction to the USSR’s invasion. In-line with the above described logic, if starving out the economy becomes a reality and if the Russian army is defeated, the outcome will likely be a destruction of the Kremlin’s vertical of power. Not of the international economy and rule of law. Coming back to the above discussed scenarios, less economically destructive is the one that promises a restoration of the international order.


The arms race, started by Reagan, appeared unbearable for the USSR, already suffering from the COCOM embargo. At the same time, it lost the war in Afghanistan. On top of this, low energy prices toppled the USSR’s budget. The nomenklatura reacted with an avalanche-like destruction of the vertical of power. As a result, the world lived for 30 years without fear of nuclear war, in remarkable peace and stability.


Those times worrying about nuclear weapons ending up in the hands of irresponsible politicians or even terrorists were as strong as now, but in the end only Russia retained its arsenal. Ironically, now it is in the hands of exactly this kind of politician obsessed with anti-Western resentment.


The parallels with the present moment are striking, the main difference being Russia’s much broader exposure to international trade than the USSR’s, and, therefore, much higher vulnerability to sanctions. But can those be effective?


This depends on their real purpose. Of course, no sanctions can stop a fascist regime from waging war. Russia is paying a high toll in human lives, which is much more important than welfare, but nevertheless it continues the war. At the same time, it is hard to completely bleed its economy so as to minimise its means to wage war. Sanctions can prevent Russia from producing modern weapons, but it can still operate with old ones.


Despite widespread disappointment with the sanctions’ effect, it is already being felt by the Russian economy, population and the elites. Apart from personal sanctions, visa and air travel restrictions, and self-sanctions such as banning the Facebook and Instagram social networks, real disposable household incomes already started to fall after some post-COVID recovery in 2021, and so do the budget revenues – and this is on the backdrop of still raising oil prices and only modest sanctions that have taken force so far. Rephrasing Putin “we have even not started” with the major cuts of the Russian oil imports that are to be implemented during the second half of 2022 and 2023 years.


So far a reputation effect has a stronger impact on Russia than the politically imposed sanctions. After the first wave of sanctions was announced, the country had become a reputational cost for about 1,000 companies. They left Russia not because of losing sales in its vast market but because of the high opportunity costs of staying at the expense of dwindling shares on the global markets. For the global consumers any business in Russia has become a stain of irresponsibility and anti-humanism. Russian legislators had set the legal framework for nationalisation abandoned assets and asked the central bank to acquire the banks that left the country. Forgone opportunities and the sunk costs from leaving Russia, obviously, seem less important than potential reputation losses.[13]


In 2021, Russia’s military budget reached USD 61.7 billion, the US’ military spending was USD 778.2 billion, that of NATO members – more that USD 1.1 trillion (before Sweden and Finland entry in the organisation), and China – USD 252 billion. In international comparison, the military spending of the Russian Federation before the invasion of Ukraine was respectively 12, 18 and four times less significant in absolute terms. From the standpoint of a possible future standoff with an arms race the Kremlin’s options are rather limited.


We are not talking about the difference in quality and technology here. Economically backward Russia is also backward in military terms, the rest is nothing more than propaganda for those who criticise sanctions triggered by the war on Ukraine.


All in all: the economic strength of the EU and the West in general will almost certainly weaken Russia economically; militarily her options are also limited. The hardships ahead for the economy and the people of Russia, evolving now gradually, will remain for a long term. Staying firm on sanctions is easier, defends the rule of international law and is a more prosperous course of policy action (for Russia as well, eventually) than what critics of sanctions expect.


However, firm resolve here is essential. If western politicians act cautiously, and keep thinking that they better not irritate Putin too much because they will have to deal with him in the future, then, of course, their indecisiveness will translate into actions that make the Kremlin confident. On the other hand, if the world community acts decisively to neutralise the lawbreaker then there is a good chance of returning to the acceptable previous times.


When a karate champion breaks a brick with his bare hand, he should be absolutely confident and resolute, otherwise his strike will not get through. If he does, the brick gets destroyed, and a man feels only minor, if any, pain. However, if his strike is indecisive, the force he applies cannot break a brick, and he risks a serious trauma. The same here. Putin’s last hope is indecisiveness of those he considers as his enemies. The world’s last hope is their braveness and resolve, which they can learn from Ukraine – and (indeed) from Ronald Reagan.


Vladimir Dubrovskiy is a political economist based in Kyiv (Senior Economist at CASE Ukraine).


Krassen Stanchev teaches Macroeconomic Analysis and Public Choice at Sofia University, chairs the board of the Institute for Market Economics and is an ex-MP of the Constitutional Assembly of Bulgaria (1990-1991).


[1] Yuval Noah Harari, Yuval Noah Harari argues that what’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history, The Economist, February 2022,

[2] Coface, Country & Sector Risk Barometer – Q2 2022, June 2022,; Gabriel Di Bella et al., Natural Gas in Europe: The Potential Impact of Disruptions to Supply, July 2022, IMF Working Papers, IMF,

[3] Yuval Noah Harari, Yuval Noah Harari argues that what’s at stake in Ukraine is the direction of human history, The Economist, February 2022,

[4] Timothy Snyder, We Should Say It. Russia Is Fascist, The New York Times, May 2022,

[5] Vladimir Dubrovskiy, How to stop Putin’s war against Ukraine, The Foreign Policy Centre, April 2020,

[6] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Yearbook: Armanents, Disarmament and International Security, Military expenditure (% of GDP), The World Bank,

[7] Chart by Levada Center:; Levada Center, see website:

[8] Trading Economics, Russia Exports,

[9] Vladimir Dubrovskiy, How to stop Putin’s war against Ukraine, The Foreign Policy Centre, April 2022,

[10] Kornel Mahistein, Christine McDaniel, Simon Schropp and Marinos Tsigas, Potential economic effects of sanctions on Russia: An Allied trade embargo, Vox, May 2022,

[11] Vladimir Dubrovskiy, How to stop Putin’s war against Ukraine, The Foreign Policy Centre, April 2022,

[12] Henry E. Hale, Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge University Press, November 2014,; Steven L. Solnick, Stealing the State: Control and Collapse in Soviet Institutions, Harvard University Press, July 1998,

[13] Owen Matthews, Sanctions are working – whatever Putin says, The Spectator, August 2022,–whatever-putin-says?fbclid=IwAR2B722Kymg4cn6ozbaZe6xYPGNoTs_MkbLpVnWKQ_yMFBwgl_HKFNJkKMM

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this piece are those of the individual authors and do not reflect the views of The Foreign Policy Centre.

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