Since February 24th when Russian Forces crossed the Ukrainian border and began their invasion, more than 200 major companies have decided to suspend operations in Russia. These are big name companies such as Microsoft, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Netflix, Nike and even Lego. Russian athletes have also been banned from many major sporting organizations and events. This along with the crippling economic sanctions let loose on Russia, like the recent decision by the U.S. to ban the importation of Russian energy products such as oil, makes Putin’s country truly a total outcast.
BREAKING: @POTUS bans all imports of Russian oil and gas.
"The American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine."
— American Bridge 21st Century (@American_Bridge) March 8, 2022
These economic sanctions from the global community have multiple goals. Mainly, this is an attempt to coerce the population of Russia and the Russian leadership to either stop the invasion of Ukraine or to change the current regime. Now, if these sanctions will have the desired outcome is up for debate. These sanctions are also one of the only tools that the Western world has in their arsenal since one nuclear country directly attacking another nuclear country is globally taboo. It is a redline not crossed.
The interesting aspect that needs to be noted with this situation is that this is a global economic suffocation of Russia. It is not only one country and their allies sanctioning another like the United States with Cuba for example. Also, as already mentioned, it is not only countries reacting but also multiple international companies and organizations. The powers of the world are reacting to Russia stepping gravely out of line.
But how could Putin not anticipate this shunning of Russia? Putin is an intelligent man and making the move to invade Ukraine doesn’t add up. He knows how the game of geopolitics is played. With the information we have, the main logical conclusion is that Putin must have believed that the Russian military could sweep through Ukraine, occupy the country, and quickly place it in the position it held in the Soviet Union. This would be done in such a short time that the world would still be talking about how to react by the time it was all over. But as we have seen, with the almost incredible defense from the Ukrainian military, this conflict has dragged on longer than Putin anticipated.
The sad aspect of this is that generally the sanctions will only cause suffering for the average Russian. This isn’t to say that Russians are not remarkably resilient people. One only needs to glance at their history to see it is filled with famine and death. The Russian government has also been hard at work to keep the morale of their people high by spitting out propaganda to justify their invasion.
However, even if Russia halted their invasion of Ukraine, it would likely take significant time for Russia to be welcomed back into the global fold. This process could possibly be quickened if there was a regime change in Russia. But this seems unlikely to occur as Putin has a solid grip on Russia and the global shunning meant to motivate Russians to rise up has just begun.
For those interested, here is the link to the Yale School of Management’s page where they have compiled all the companies who have either fully or partially suspended operations in Russia as of March 8th. https://som.yale.edu/story/2022/over-300-companies-have-withdrawn-russia-some-remain