The West wants to deprive Russia of the opportunity to attack its neighbors

Russia must be deprived of the opportunity to wage aggressive war, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

“Through sanctions, we aim to prevent Russian military action in other regions in the coming years,” Baerbock said. But Kremlin propaganda is convincing Russians that sanctions have nothing to do with the war against Ukraine. So: who is right?

Like any other leader of an authoritarian dictatorial regime, Vladimir Putin is convinced that the goal of sanctions is himself. And even when he doesn’t talk about it out loud, there will still be someone else to explain it to the Russians. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who identifies Russia with Putin, knows how to use some not-so-clever manipulations to turn sanctions against the Russian president into sanctions against the Russian people.

The West wants to overthrow Putin because without him Russia will perish?

All Kremlin propaganda has constructed a simple scheme for the Russians: the West, home to “neo-Nazis,” is imposing sanctions to destroy the country. The West intends to achieve this goal by overthrowing Vladimir Putin, because without him, you see, Russia will perish. But the Russian people are accustomed to enduring and will not bend, the well-guarded experts on state television channels happily assure. So, according to the unanimous conclusion, the Russian people will not give up their favorite leader, and Putin, in turn, will save Russia.

Personally, the president puts forward another idea that is important for the construction described above. The West would impose sanctions anyway, he repeated in different tones, over and over again. This was simply inevitable. Putin is developing this idea to absolve the Kremlin of responsibility for its aggressive foreign policy, which was the reason for imposing new and uniquely harsh sanctions on Russia.

Many EU and US politicians in the past believed that imposing sanctions on Russia could dismantle the country’s political system. And one of the goals was really to replace Vladimir Putin. But not within the framework of some imaginary “color revolutions”, but through democratic elections. And who the Russians are voting for – in the hope of further democratization.

But the Russian opposition, neither on its own nor with the help of the West, has failed to hold such elections at all – in all the long years since Putin came to power. The authoritarian regime proved stronger. The opposition, which was finally defeated in 2021, also failed to prevent the Kremlin’s aggressive war against Ukraine. A war that shows that Vladimir Putin began planning at about the same time he decided to rewrite the Constitution and finally usurp power in the country.

After the start of this war, the West gradually realized the main danger: Russian militarism and its readiness for aggression abroad. And set aside all long-term plans, especially Russia’s notorious democratization. Just so they don’t drop bombs on Ukrainian cities.

It was at this point that new and historically unique sanctions came on the agenda, aimed at only one thing: the rapid possible destruction of Russia’s resource base for war. In the interest of truth, however, this base was not created solely by Vladimir Putin. Because even before that, the Kremlin had invested in the development of the army, preserving and multiplying its nuclear potential. And the majority of Russians didn’t seem to worry about that at all.

The Russian economy is extremely militarized. For many years, Russia was one of the world’s largest arms exporters, most of the time. A significant part of the formally civilian Russian industry also worked for the military-industrial complex. For example, metallurgy. Or an even simpler example: wooden shell boxes made by small businesses and even sole proprietors.

What exactly does the West want?

Now the West wants to purposefully dismantle all this infrastructure. Only a month ago, when the war was already raging, there was no such thing. But now Annalena Baerbock is clearly articulating the task at hand – one that Germany’s EU and NATO partners, as well as their allies, are gradually realizing.

So at the moment, no one intends to help the Russians overthrow the regime. And why help, when perhaps over 80% of the population supports Putin’s war and himself, as Kremlin sociology claims. Of course, democratic change may be an indirect consequence of the new sanctions, as the sharp deterioration of Russia’s socio-economic situation could lead to protests. But the West’s main goal remains this: to end the war.

If the war stops and the EU and NATO receive assurances that the Kremlin will not be able to resume it, sanctions will gradually begin to fall. Especially if at that time the Russians themselves replaced Vladimir Putin with another leader who did not want to take over neighboring countries and bomb peaceful cities.

Russia is learning from its mistakes in Ukraine Previous post Russia is learning from its mistakes in Ukraine
The opposite effect of sanctions against Russia Next post The opposite effect of sanctions against Russia