What Sanctions against Russia Can Do — and What They Can’t

What Sanctions against Russia Can Do — and What They Can’t

Financial pressure won’t stop Putin in the short term. But it’s vital to winning the long war against Russian revanchism.




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V
ladimir Putin’s renewed assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty has intensified calls for democratic governments to target the Russian oligarchs whose luxury mansions, yachts, and mistresses are scattered across the West. Asset freezes and seizures and visa bans are among the measures suggested to sow dissent among Russia’s jet-setting elite and raise the cost of further aggression.

Designating certain Russian oligarchs is already part of the sanctions package announced by the Biden administration, which also includes blocking two large banks, further restrictions on Russian sovereign debt, and halting the already-suspended Nord Stream 2 pipeline. But these measures alone are not powerful enough to constitute …

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