Private Putin’s Achilles Heel

War between Ukraine and Russiacase

Caught between Russian economic elites who would let go of him and a public opinion put on a dry diet, international sanctions could be the nightmare of the head of the Kremlin.

The situation is “problem”. And its potential consequences “heavy”. No, it’s not a pessimistic Ukrainian official talking about the military balance of power five days after Vladimir Putin launched his mad war. It was a Kremlin official who spoke on Monday about the economic situation in Russia, following the sanctions decided in recent days, by Europe or the United States in the lead. “The economic reality has changed”, also declared the spokesperson for the Russian president, to justify that his boss did not spend a good part of his day surrounded by his military staff to follow the evolution of the fighting on the ground, but with his Prime Minister , its Minister of Finance, the President of the Russian Central Bank and the head of the country’s main bank.

The concrete effects of the economic sanctions are obviously not yet felt in the daily lives of the inhabitants. The time is not yet for panic on the side of the Kremlin, which of course assured that it had the means to cope. Nevertheless: there is concern that in the short term these unprecedented sanctions will be synonymous with recession for the Russian economy. Recession whose consequences on the population are difficult to measure, but which would inevitably weaken Vladimir Putin. The economy is the Achilles heel of soldier Putin. His nightmare: to be caught in the pincers of the economic elites of his country who would let him go and of a public opinion put on a dry diet. It is therefore vital that the Europeans and the Americans wage this economic war, in addition to the military aid to Ukraine decided on this weekend. They must continue to speak with one voice. They will have to hold on when the first consequences are felt on our economies, because there will be. It is even an additional hardening of the sanctions that must be waved under the nose of the master of the Kremlin.

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