The GuardianThe Guardian

The sanctions war against Russia: A year of playing cat and mouse

By Patrick Wintour

20 Feb 2023 · 15 min read

Editor's Note

After Western nations brought sanctions last March, Biden predicted the Russian economy would be "cut in half." That hasn't happened. The Guardian shows why Russia's economy has remained resilient.

“The Russian economy is on track to be cut in half,” Joe Biden said in March last year, as he heralded sanctions brought against Russia after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, vowed that sanctions were “hitting the Putin system … at its core of power”. Liz Truss, her counterpart in the UK at the time, forecast that Vladimir Putin’s oligarchs would have nowhere to hide. EU sanctions, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said, “are working to cripple Putin’s ability to finance his war machine”.

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