Governments “Sanction” Their Own Citizens Every Day. The Russia Sanctions Are Just a Natural Evolution.
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in the last week of February 2022 was the culmination of decades of transnational statist expansion.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which managers of the postwar Washington-centered imperium set up to counter Communist imperialism coordinated from Moscow, was rendered obsolete when the Soviet Union collapsed at Christmastide in 1991. But instead of rejoicing in the fall of an adversarial empire and scaling back the NATO alliance, the Washington-led transnational statists expanded it. One by one, eastern European and Baltic countries, many of them former members of the Soviet-backed Warsaw Pact bloc, joined the Western ranks.
Vladimir Putin made it clear that he would not tolerate Ukraine’s or Georgia’s membership in NATO, and even invaded parts of both countries as their entanglement with the West deepened. In February 2022, the dam finally broke, and Putin invaded Ukraine on what appears to be a drive to take over the entire country, or at least enough of it to provide a buffer zone between the endlessly expanding NATO field and the Russian Federation. Transnational statism from the West was met with national statism from the east.
In turn, the United States, as almost everyone had been expecting in such an eventuality, hit Russia and many of its leaders with sanctions. Many private companies—banks, credit card companies, and sports teams, for example—and international organizations such as the International Paralympic Committee, too, announced blanket bans on doing business with Russians. In a matter of hours, the sanctions began to bite. There were runs on Russian banks, the exchange rate of the Russian ruble plummeted, and energy prices worldwide shot up as future supplies of Russian oil and gas became uncertain.
It hardly needs to be pointed out to Mises readers that these sanctions are immoral and unjust. In the first place, it is wrong to punish ordinary civilians, including, of course, children and the disabled, for the actions of their government. The application of sanctions, moreover, is arbitrary and even capricious: the United States government invaded the sovereign nations of Afghanistan and Iraq some two decades ago, and before that had been imposing sanctions on the Iraqi people at the cost of great loss of innocent life, but Washington suf
Article from Mises Wire