Russia, Ukraine And Sanctions: A Double-Edged Sword
By Gerson Sher
Unraveling the events in Ukraine, and the reaction in Russia, is another exercise in peeling back the layers of the onion of Russian imperial history. While most of the more spectacular events of the past few weeks are already well known in the West, there are some nuances that deserve examination in a little more depth - in particular, their impact on civil society, particularly in Russia.
Russia's ultimatum that Ukrainian forces defending the autonomous region of Crimea surrender -- or else -- may well lead Russia to be shunned and isolated by the world community as at no time since the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. Damaging economic and visa sanctions are under discussion and other cooperative activities are being curtailed as well.
But it appears that Russian President Vladimir Putin is undeterred by such sanctions-and may even secretly welcome them.