Russia: are these sanctions working or not?

We are in 331 days of Russian aggression against Ukraine. It takes a long time when you are under the bomb. It also took a long time as we waited for the famous “massive sanctions” against Vladimir Putin’s regime to bear fruit. What’s the point, exactly?

At the time to say so, almost 11 months ago, Western countries organized themselves and started providing military, humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia, which now exceeds 50 billion dollars.

Yesterday, the United States announced new deliveries of military weapons and equipment, including one hundred Stryker combat vehicles, for a total of $2.5 billion. As Republican Senator Everett Dirksen said, “A billion here, a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money!” »


Meanwhile, Russia also did not give up. This week again, Vladimir Putin made it clear – after 11 months of fighting and tens of thousands of deaths, on his side as elsewhere – that Russia’s victory was certain.

As for the Russian economy, it’s doing fine, he brags. The country’s GDP fell, he acknowledged, “by 2.1% between January and November, a far cry from the 10, 15, 20% decline economists had predicted”.

Of two things, one: whether you have to be wary of “official” Russian figures, or the sanctions announced with great fanfare by Western capitals in the spring, last summer had no effect.


Alexander Titov, a professor of European history at Queens University Belfast, described his recent visit to St Petersburg last week in an article for online publication. Conversation.

Banks, he said, were operating normally; salaries and pensions paid on time; e-commerce is booming and shops are full of food and consumer goods.

Putin, despite the sanctions on his gas and oil industries, has maintained his energy exports, selling his oil at a discount. India, for example, the world’s third largest importer of crude oil, bought 33 times more oil from Russia in 2022 than the previous year.


So, the failure, the sanctions that Western countries, including Canada, have imposed on Russia? Apparently not ! that washington post noting at the end of last year that the Russian Ministry of Finance itself acknowledged that tax revenues – excluding the oil and gas sector – had fallen by 20% year over year; retail sales will fall by 10%.

Also, let’s not forget that the purpose of these sanctions is to stop Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. In this case, the supply of sophisticated military equipment would be difficult to the point of severely limiting the ability to launch new ground attacks or to manufacture new missiles.

It’s all a matter of perseverance, the determination to maintain this sanction. The bravery of the Ukrainians on the battlefield excites our admiration; it’s about rising to the occasion.

Ukraine, above US military assistance

US aid to Ukraine in 2022 compared to top earners in 2020

Ukraine: $22.9 billion

Israel : $3.3 billion

Afghanistan : $2.8 billion

Egypt : $1.3 billion

Iraq : $548 million

Source: CFR; United States Agency for International Development; Ukraine Support Tracker, Kiel Institute for the World Economy


Bilateral assistance as of 20 November 2022

  • United States of America : $48 billion
  • European Union : $30 billion
  • English : $7.1 billion
  • German : $5.5 billion
  • Canada : $3.8 billion

Source: Ukraine Support Tracker, Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Billions and billions in aid

Aid was provided to Ukraine between January and November 2022

  • Humanitarian aid : $9.9 billion (21%) emergency food aid; health ; support for refugees, etc.
  • Financial aid : $15.1 billion (31%) Budget support through the European Support Fund and other loans.
  • military assistance : 22.9 billion % (48%)
  • Security assistance : $8.9 billion (18.5%) Military training; equipment ; logistics support, etc.
  • Weapons and equipment : $12.7 billion (26.5%) Arms and military equipment.
  • Grants and Loans for Arms and Equipment : $1.3 billion (3%)

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