On February 24, Russia commenced its military invasion of Ukraine, and the two countries are still fighting today. Since the very beginning, the Russian all-out war has been conducting indiscriminate attacks on multiple parts of the Ukraine.
Proven by the real-time footage of Russian forces’ strikes spreading online, the Russian troops are targeting civilian facilities. Regarding the previous warfare that the Russian troops fought in, for example, Syria and Chechnya, the Russian troops use the tactic of intentional attacks on civilians, aiming to break the people’s will to fight back. The recent bombing of a maternity hospital and a theatre in Mariupol, which has no military connections, showcases and proves Russian forces’ brutality. Such attacks targeted at the civilian population is strictly prohibited by international law. Therefore, many people condemn Putin for making it happen. Moreover, in February, the International Court of Justice announced that it would open an investigation into the war crimes committed in Ukraine.
One after another, important trade partners of Russia proposed numerous sanctions against Russia and the Russian oligarchs. Primarily, a group of Western countries decided to freeze assets that could be used for funding the Russian army. The $630 billion worth of Russian Central Bank’s foreign reserves is now frozen. Swift, the international financial messaging system, removed several major Russian banks, which will hinder the Russian government’s main source of revenue collection, the payments for Russian energy exports. These sanctions reach beyond Russian financial institutions. The United States, the United Kingdom, and European Union put sanctions on more than 1,000 Russian individuals and businesses to limit their economic capacity. Moreover, The United States, the United Kingdom, European Union and Canada have frozen the assets of President Vladimir Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Furthermore, Western society is determined that they will challenge the main source of the country’s income, the energy exports. The United States, the United Kingdom, and European Union decided either to gradually reduce or completely stop importing Russian energy resources.
The Russian economy is greatly affected by these sanctions. Since the sanctions’ imposition, the Russian rouble’s value decreased by 22%, and the Russian economy is in 14% inflation. This damage to the economy is anticipated to last after the end of the war.