The Obama administration has sanctioned eleven Russian and Ukrainian officials. All are cronies of and/or senior advisers to Vladimir Putin.
I’m in favor of sanctioning Putin’s advisers and cronies. But no one should confuse these measures with action that has any chance of influencing Putin’s behavior.
Certainly, there is no such confusion in Russia. Greg White, Moscow Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, reports that Russian markets, “relieved” by the limited scope of Obama’s sanctions, have rallied.
Not that a downturn in Russian markets would influence Putin. As John Nolte says:
Putin is a student and acolyte of his predecessors, Stalin and Lenin. Marxist-Leninist thinking is long-term, not based on that day’s poll or focus group. . . .If past is prologue, Putin is more than willing to let his people suffer in furtherance of a hundred-year goal to rebuild the Soviet Empire.