The Sanctioning Begins

The Western powers imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of eastern Ukraine as Ukraine declares a state of emergency.


The United States, the European Union, and other allied powers imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of eastern Ukraine. Ukraine declared a state of emergency Wednesday ahead of a feared wider Russian invasion.

  • The Ukrainian government instructed its citizens to flee Russia, and the Kremlin began evacuating the Russian embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday. Ukraine declared a nationwide state of emergency after Russian military vehicles rolled into the separatist-held regions in Eastern Ukraine.
  • President Joe Biden announced a “first tranche” of sanctions that hit Putin’s inner circle and their families along with banks deemed critical to Russia’s military, moves that underwhelmed markets expecting a harsher response.
  • Indo-Pacific regional powers Japan, Australia and South Korea imposed financial sanctions and trade and travel bans in response to the Russian invasion. Canada issued its own sanctions, calling Putin’s invasion “a blatant attack on Ukrainian sovereignty.”
  • Britain is considering additional sanctions against three oligarchs and five banks with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss reportedly wanting to make the oligarchs “squeal.” Britain has been deluged by panicked Russian oligarchs fearing sanctions targeting the “Londromat” – the term for the estimated $1.2 billion in dirty Russian money laundered through the London real estate market.
  • The United States and the European Union are reportedly keeping the financial “big guns” in reserve to use if Russia expands its invasion beyond the eastern separatist regions.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times outlined the measures Putin has taken to insulate Russia from American sanctions since the Obama administration imposed penalties for the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
  • The Guardian reported on the Ukrainian people’s readiness to fight a Russian invasion. Ukraine’s army is smaller than Russia’s. However, Ukraine can call upon a half-million combat veterans who have served in the Russo-Ukrainian War in Donbas since 2014.
  • Politico covered the divisions within the GOP over Russia and Ukraine. Former President Donald Trump reportedly thinks Putin is trying to steamroll Biden and shouldn’t take Ukraine, unlike Trump who “wasn’t nice to Russia.” Most Republicans support Biden’s sanctions and Trump’s strong stance, although a minority including Tucker Carlson, Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) argue against any US involvement.



  • The Wall Street Journal reported on European leaders’ attempts to dissuade Putin from his invasion plans. The Europeans described him as “talking in circles,” “isolated” and in an “ideological and security-minded drift.” Putin’s strict COVID-19 restrictions in the Kremlin were blamed for his isolation.
  • The Washington Examiner covered the strains the Russian invasion of Ukraine is putting on Russia’s warmer relations with China.
  • National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty blamed the “foreign policy establishment” for the current crisis and claimed today’s mess is the logical conclusion of NATO expansion and other American policies in the post-Cold War era.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022