Many analysts are still advocating sanctions as a way to force the Russian regime to back down on Ukraine, and Lilia Shevtsova is just the latest.
What needs to happen, the Moscow analyst says, is for Europe and the West more generally to investigate Russian money abroad, where it is being invested, and to whom it is being paid, and then block the flows of money that Putin and his entourage have illegally obtained, as is the case with much of it.
This is easier said than done. The Russian regime has spent decades setting up their money laundering schemes, and it would take years to unravel it. Years that we frankly don’t have.
We condemned ourselves to a land war with Russia because we were greedy, and wanted cheap energy and cheap commodities and cheap labor. Our governments agreed to it, and we acquiesced by refusing to hold our authorities accountable.
Make sanctions a prong in fighting Russian aggression, but understand that this has gone too far for it to be the only prong. The time to end this conflict with sanctions alone has passed. Russia must be completely shut out of our markets. Then we can go in and clean up our corruption problems inside our own countries as Shevtsova suggests.