While Putin’s army proceeds in its ‘peacekeeping’ mission to restore order in Eastern Ukraine, just if it was Kremlin’s backyard, some considerations are due.
On August 2008 — as Olympic games were being inaugurated in Beijing — Russia launched air attacks throughout Georgia and Russian troops engaged Georgian forces in South Ossetia. On February 2022 — as Olympic games were being closed in Beijing — Putin ordered tanks in Ukraine territory. The International Law violation is the same and Putin’s tactics are absolutely the same… and the West’s reaction? Sadly, the same.
We have promptly announced a blanket of sanctions (to be determined) and Germany halted Nord Stream 2 certification.’This will certainly convince Putin to backpedal, won’t it,’ think my German friends. But what this reasoning misses is that Putin is not a business man, rather he has only politics in his mind: politics and legacy. Economic sanctions will create the strongest burden on Russians, not on oligarchs. If any, they will reinforce Putin’s glory at home, well packaged by propaganda. He will not be voted out — as any Western leader would be — if he leads his people to starvation.
If the only answer from the West is economic sanctions — that Putin has already fully anticipated — then why Russian tanks should stop East of the Dnieper River? We are creating a situation where Putin has nothing to lose. Are we sure it is the right strategy (again)?