by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Readers regard the West’s seizing of Russian assets and foreign exchange as acts of war and wonder why Putin does not declare them as such. The sanctions are weapons being used in an effort to destroy Russia just as if they were military weapons. The countries imposing sanctions on Russia are just as involved in the conflict as if they had troops fighting in Ukraine.
Putin recognizes the sanctions as such. He declared the sanctions to be “a total undisguised aggression” and “a war waged by economic, political, and informational means.” But Russia has not responded as she would if Western troops were involved. The reason is that Putin regards war, especially nuclear war, as more damaging than sanctions. Instead of unleashing his forces, he is preparing Russia to survive the sanctions while he puts in place systems that make Russia immune to sanctions, something that should have been done long ago.