Russia Braces For Imminent Currency Collapse As Global Sanctions Hit
The specific reasons for Russia’s apparent inability to mount its own planned offensive remain hotly debated, but are seen by many as an indictment of Russian leadership competence and the results of staggering corruption. Either way, Russian autocrat Putin has fallen into a nightmare of his own making, showing that Russia’s vaunted military forces are far less capable than NATO and other Russian opponents had estimated.
A massive Russian convoy of tanks and infantry vehicles was seen on satellite images a short distance from Kiev on Sunday, which could signal a new Russian attempt to take the city in the coming hours.
As Ukraine fights to prevent Russia from seizing major population centers, battles of a different kind are now looming in Moscow. The value of Russian currency is in freefall that the European Union excludes the central bank of Russia from international marketsand sovereign wealth funds and companies abandon Russian investments. This already leads to works on Moscow banks.
The EU is also move to block Russian propaganda outlets Sputnik and RT and have banned Russian planes from flying over its member countries. But it’s the economic damage that really threatens Moscow, cutting Russia off from world markets and threatening widespread chaos inside the country as the value of the ruble suddenly soars. Even members of Putin’s own government express their opposition to the wara gesture almost unprecedented in a country where opponents of Putin are regularly assassinated.
The risk of a sudden Russian escalation remains very high, as a humiliated Putin seeks new strategies that would turn the tide and end the embarrassment of seeing the nation’s mustered military forces pushed back by a much smaller Ukrainian resistance. , but much more determined. These escalations could take the form of new offensives that do not seek to circumvent population centers, but to level them. But Russia is in a corner, just as much as Ukraine. Ukraine faces a much larger military enemy; Russia, however, faces global economic retaliation and new arms shipments from the west that could cause even more catastrophic damage, perhaps even enough damage to halt Putin’s plans.
Putin’s war can now threaten his own grip on his country, as even allied oligarchs and kleptocrats weigh their loyalties against impending economic ruin. But only if the Ukrainian defenders can hold out long enough for new foreign weapons and supplies to inflict an even heavier toll on the invading Russian army.