Putins era will end over suicidal Ukraine war as Russian economy risks collapse

Putin's retaliation to defeat could be 'nasty' says military expert

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The international community has leveled a host of sanctions at the Russian regime, aimed at cutting their economic ability to wage war in Ukraine. This week, the US extended its sanction list to include Putin’s daughters, Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova.

US president Joe Biden said they were subject to sanctions “for being the adult children of Putin, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked”.

The West has bolstered their economic sanction packages against Russia as reports of Russian atrocities in the town of Bucha see civilians killed and left in the streets north-west of the capital, Kyiv.

Professor Andreas Heinemann-Grüder of Bonn University called economic sanctions “extremely painful” for Russia, although whether they could force the Kremlin to stop their advance was a different matter.

Professor Heinemann-Grüder, of the International Centre for Conflict Studies, said: “The sanctions throw Russia back to the precarious state of the early 1990s.

“All the material foundations on which Putin’s power in Russia was based are being undermined.”

He told FOCUS Online: “The Russian petro-state will collapse as a result of the sanctions.

“Putin’s policies will prove suicidal for his country.

“His era will end with the collapse of what he spent more than two decades trying to achieve.”

Countries like the UK have committed to stop all imports of Russian oil by the end of the year.

Against the economic hamstringing of Russia, the professor added, there were three options for how the conflict could end.

He described: “The war can end with a Russian victory, the exhaustion of the warring parties or the disintegration of the Putin regime.”

Putin is counting on an escalation to avoid an “ignominious defeat” in Ukraine, he said, and the Russian troops will be looking to win a war of attrition forcing Ukraine to surrender.

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He said: “A Russian victory would not only mean immeasurable suffering, but would permanently entail Russia’s isolation.”

And should this Russian victory come to pass, it would be a “Pyrrhic victory, only to be stabilised with a reign of terror”.

With such a slow, grinding down of Ukrainian opposition, however, Professor Heinemann-Grüder said the war was unlikely to have an end in sight.

He said: “A ceasefire or a negotiated peace only becomes likely when both parties are exhausted and Ukraine is struggling so much for survival that it is willing to sign almost anything.”

He then theorised: “Ukraine could receive internationally binding security assurances and possibly the status of Finland, and Russia in turn could receive recognition of Crimea and the Donetsk and Lugansk ‘people’s republics’ in return.

“In the best case, Ukraine can hold important sections of the Black Sea and continue to exist as a rump state.”

This scenario would include a “demarcation line between Ukraine and the Russian-occupied territories”, placed under international surveillance.

He added: “However, no one can dictate to Ukraine from the outside what it should or even must ‘swallow’.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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