Sanctions Didn’t Stop Putin

On Their Effectiveness in the Short-term & Long-term

Jakub Ferencik
6 min readAug 13, 2022


In some sense, sanctions are working. But they are not enough. Indeed, with the rise in the price of gas and oil, Putin has even profited from his invasion.

Based on a Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) study, the EU has daily transferred $730 million to Putin’s war machine, which is roughly four times more than Russia’s daily military spending. But in the long term (2 to 4 years), the EU sanctions will be catastrophic for Putin.

Let me explain why.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

A Brief History of 2022 Sanctions Against Russia

The five sanctions packages that were passed by the EU in the first two months of Putin’s large-scale invasion, were commendable efforts against Putin. They were agreed upon quickly and enforced with the same fervor.

Russia even surpassed Iran and North Korea, which were the most heavily sanctioned country in the Globe for some time. And the nature of the sanctions was also interesting since most of them were aimed at Russia’s elite class, who are effectively enablers of Putin’s kleptocracy (thus also benefiting from it).

It is within their interest to keep the regime going, so it makes complete sense to keep it going in accordance with profit maximization.

Then the fifth sanctions package was approved on the 44th day of the war. The hiccup occurred after that point, with the sixth sanctions package being passed some 50 days after the fifth sanctions package.

Putin was abruptly cut off from the SWIFT monetary system, which was up until that point one of the largest criticisms against the EU. In conjunction, Russian oligarchs were stripped of their residences in the EU, and countless companies cut ties with the Russian market, including Netflix, Samsung, and Mcdonald's.

The sixth sanctions package, on the other hand, would end ties with Russian gas and oil supplies through various pipelines and other means to Europe.

As briefly mentioned in the introduction, this was a crucial addition to the existing sanctions since the EU was directly funding Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine. Indeed…



Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views