The Times reported on Sunday that “the war in Ukraine is at an impasse after more than three weeks of fighting, with Russia making only marginal gains and increasingly targeting civilians, according to US analysts and officials. “Ukrainian forces defeated the first Russian campaign of this war,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research institute, said in an analysis. The Russians have neither the manpower nor the equipment to take over the capital Kyiv or other major cities like Kharkiv and Odessa, the study concludes.
Biden’s Plan A, which he explicitly warned Putin about before the war started in an effort to dissuade him, was to impose economic sanctions on Russia the likes of which have never been imposed by the West before. – in a bid to grind the Russian economy to a halt. Biden’s strategy – which also involved sending weapons to the Ukrainians to put pressure on Russia militarily as well – does just that. It is likely succeeding beyond Biden’s expectations because it has been amplified by hundreds of foreign companies operating in Russia also suspending their operations there – voluntarily or under pressure from their employees.
Russian factories now have to close because they cannot get the microchips and other raw materials they need from the West; air travel to and around Russia is curtailed because many of its commercial planes were actually owned by Irish leasing companies, and Airbus and Boeing will not serve those that Russia outright owns. Meanwhile, thousands of young Russian tech workers are voting against the war with their feet and simply leaving the country – all barely a month after Putin started this misguided war.
“More than half of the goods and services entering Russia come from 46 or more countries that have imposed trade sanctions or restrictions, led by the United States and the European Union,” the Washington Post reported, citing the firm. economic research center Castellum. .have.
The Post article added: “In a televised speech Thursday, defiant Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to acknowledge the country’s challenges. He said the widespread sanctions would force “difficult deep structural changes in our economy”, but promised that Russia would overcome “attempts to stage an economic blitzkrieg”. Putin added: “It is difficult for us at the moment. Russian financial companies, large companies, small and medium enterprises are facing unprecedented pressure.
So here is the question of the hour: will the pressure exerted on NATO countries by all the refugees that Putin’s war machine is creating – more and more every day – outweigh the pressure exerted on its stalled army on the ground in Ukraine and on its economy at home – more and more every day?
The answer to this question should determine when and how this war ends – whether with a clear winner and loser or, perhaps more likely, with some sort of dirty compromise leaning for or against Putin.