Though he launched an invasion of Ukraine with his characteristic bluster and bravado, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently acknowledged the economic collapse his countrymen are now facing as a result of severe sanctions imposed by the West, as the Washington Examiner reports.
Last week, Putin delivered a fiery missive in which he blasted America and its allies while also seeming to admit the extent of the pain resulting from the economic punishments they have imposed in response to his aggression against his neighbor.
“Indeed, it is difficult for us at the moment. Russian financial companies, major enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses are facing unprecedented pressure,” Putin explained.
“Clearly…we will have to make deep structural changes in our economy, and I will not pretend that they will be easy or that they will not lead to a temporary increase in inflation and unemployment,” he added.
Turning to the material impact on the rank-and-file citizenry in his country, Putin stated, “I am aware that the price hikes are a big blow to people’s incomes. So we will take action to increase all social payments shortly, including benefits and pensions.”
Putin underscored his belief that the sanctions “are aimed at worsening the lives of millions of people,” and he claimed that they were inevitable, regardless of whether he initiated the conflict in which his nation is currently engaged.
“One should clearly understand that the new set of sanctions and restrictions against us would have followed in any case, I want to emphasize this. Our military operation in Ukraine is just a pretext for the next sanctions,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
As crippling as sanctions from the West have already been to Russia’s economy, Ukrainian lawmaker Maryan Zablotskyy asserted last week that if China were to join in opposition to Putin’s conduct, that nation could deal a “decisive blow” to his chances of success, as Fox Business noted.
Though President Joe Biden took part in a two-hour conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and warned of “consequences” his nation would face if it provided assistance in furtherance of Putin’s aims, it remains to be seen whether that admonition will have any effect in terms of further isolating the Russian leader in the eyes of the world.