Elsa Sc S describes the increasing pressure on Russia
Putin’s fury as EU slaps opposition to Russian invasion of Ukraine is gradually crystalising with the Western countries tightening their net around the coterie of decision makers holed up in the Kremlin. Though the Putin regime is trying hard to counter the tough measures against it and is announcing measures that are usually brushed-off by seasoned observers as frivolous and toothless. Putin’s difficulties have increased manifold due to the extremely inadequate performance of highly-hyped Russian military apparatus that has failed to decisively breakthrough the Ukrainian defences as was borne out by the fact that Russian invaders diverted their attention from Kyiv to the other parts of the country after losing many senior officers in the fight for the capital city. It is also becoming obvious that the Russian adventure has started to face logistical difficulties that are impeding its invasion.
The most crucial Putin’s fury as EU slaps factor is the colossal loss of morale within the military circles that has badly unnerved the Kremlin decision makers. It is reported that Russia has lost its ninth general of the war in Ukraine. Major General Andrei Simonov, 55, was killed in battles in Izyum near Kharkov, the country’s second city. Simonov, from the Kirov region, was a graduate of the Tomsk Higher Military Command School of Communications and was seen as Russia’s military leading electronics warfare specialist and was serving with the 2nd Combined Arms Army. Simonov died in a devastating fight-back by the Ukrainians against a Russian offensive. More than 30 Russian armoured vehicles were reportedly destroyed. As well as losing nine generals, the Putin’s fury as EU slaps Russian military has seen 36 colonels slain in little over two months fighting and this level of attrition is considering astonishing by military standards. Keeping in view the disintegrating morale Putin has sent his chief of defence staff General Valery Gerasimov to take personal command of the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine. But Simonov’s death, alongside 100 Russian troops and the reported loss of armoured vehicles, indicates another setback for the Kremlin leader who aims to declare the success of his mission on 9 May, Victory Day in Russia.
In the latest development the President of European Commission Union has called upon the 27-nation bloc to ban oil imports from Russia and target the country’s biggest bank and major broadcasters in a sixth package of sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The proposals must be unanimously approved to take effect and are likely to be the subject of fierce debate. In this context it was conceded that getting all 27 member countries — some of them landlocked and highly dependent on Russia for energy supplies — to agree on oil sanctions will not be easy. The EU gets about 25 per cent of its oil from Russia, most of which goes toward gasoline and diesel for vehicles. Russia supplies about 14 per cent of diesel and a cutoff could send already high prices for truck and tractor fuel towering. However, if approved, the ban on oil imports would be the second package of EU sanctions targeting Russia’s lucrative energy industry since the country invaded Ukraine.
In addition to sanctions on various entities and individuals, including Putin’s fury as EU slaps Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of his family, the EU previously approved an embargo on coal imports. The EU has started discussions on a possible natural gas embargo but consensus among member countries on targeting the fuel used to generate electricity and heat homes is more difficult to secure. The region gets about 40 per cent of its natural gas from Russia. Hungary and Slovakia have already said they wouldn’t take part in any oil sanctions. The EU and Russia are playing a game of chicken and it is hard to say who will blink first: the Russians for fear of running out of money or Europe for fear of the lights going out.
The EU has also proposed targeting high-ranking military officers and others who committed war crimes in Bucha, a suburb of the capital Kyiv. Ukrainian officials have alleged that retreating Russian troops carried out mass killings of civilians in Bucha. EU diplomats confirmed that the European Commission’s plans also include an asset freeze and travel ban on the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The diplomats have direct knowledge of the discussions but were not authorised to speak publicly as negotiations continue. Kirill is a longtime Putin ally and has justified Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In March, he described the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from liberal foreigners to hold gay parades as the price of admission to their ranks.
Banks are also in the EU executive arm’s sights and notably Russia’s biggest, Sberbank. Von der Leyen said the aim is that “we de-SWIFT Sberbank.” SWIFT is the major global system for financial transfers. EU accordingly is taking steps to de-SWIFT two other major banks in Russia and that is how the banks will be hit that are systemically critical to the Russian financial system and Putin’s ability to wage destruction. It was added that those alleged to be spreading disinformation about the war in Ukraine would be targeted. It was mentioned that the EU is banning three big Russian state-owned broadcasters from European airwaves. Putin’s fury as EU slaps will not be allowed to distribute their content anymore in the EU, in whatever shape or form, be it on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smart-phone apps.
Functioning in a state of tension, Putin’s fury as EU slaps put the West on notice that he could terminate exports and deals and this statement is rated as the Kremlin’s toughest response yet to the sanctions burden imposed by the US and allies over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s fury as EU slaps & signed a broad decree which forbade the export of products and raw materials to people and entities on a sanctions list that he instructed the government to draw up within 10 days. The decree, which came into force with its publication, gives Moscow the power to sow chaos across markets as it could at any moment halt exports or tear up contracts with an entity or individual it has sanctioned. The decree is explicitly framed as a response to what Putin casts as the illegal actions of the United States and its allies meant to deprive the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities of property rights or the restricting their property rights. The decree sets out retaliatory special economic measures in connection with the unfriendly actions of some foreign states and international organisations.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the Western allies to impose the most severe sanctions in modern history on Russia and Moscow’s business elite. The West’s attempt to economically isolate Russia — one of the world’s biggest producers of natural resources — has propelled the global economy into uncharted waters with soaring prices and warnings of food shortages. Since the West imposed sanctions on Russia, the $1.8 trillion economy has been heading for its biggest contraction since the years following the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, amid soaring inflation. A significant transfer of Russian assets has begun as the Russian state gains even more influence over the economy, many major Western investors — such as energy giants BP and Shell — exit, and oligarchs try to restructure their business empires. TW