Timothy Bella/The Washington Post: Putin turns Russia into the world’s most-sanctioned country, dwarfing Iran and North Korea/تيموثي بيلا/واشنطن بوست: بوتين حوّل روسيا إلى أكثر دولة معاقبة في العالم، متقزماً في هذا المجال إيران وكوريا الشمالية

Caricature of Putin on horseback repressing protest

تيموثي بيلا/واشنطن بوست : بوتين حوّل روسيا إلى أكثر دولة معاقبة في العالم ، متقزماً في هذا المجال إيران وكوريا الشمالية
Putin turns Russia into the world’s most-sanctioned country, dwarfing Iran and North Korea
Timothy Bella/The Washington Post/March 09/2022

It took less than two weeks for Russian President Vladimir Putin to turn his country into the most-sanctioned nation in the world, dwarfing the high sanction totals imposed on the likes of Iran, North Korea and Syria, thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Data from Castellum.ai, a global database that tracks sanctions, shows that Russia was already the second-most sanctioned country in the world before Feb. 22, with 2,754 sanctions. At the time, Russia trailed only Iran, which has 3,616.
But that changed after Putin ordered Russian forces to enter eastern Ukraine last month. Since then, Russia has faced 2,778 new sanctions from the United States and countries around the world — bringing its new total to a whopping 5,532 sanctions.
Now, Russia is No. 1 in a category no country wants to own. Russia’s sanctions more than doubled the 2,608 sanctions imposed on Syria, and far outpace the 2,077 sanctions placed on North Korea.
The United States leads the way with 1,194 sanctions on Russia, according to data from Castellum.ai. Switzerland, which has been historically neutral, has placed 568 sanctions on Russia since Feb. 22, the most of any country or organization during that time. The European Union, France, Canada, Australia and the United States have each also issued hundreds of sanctions against Russia in less than two weeks.
Bloomberg News was the first to report on the findings.
Russia’s ascent to the most-sanctioned country in the world comes as President Biden announced Tuesday that the United States plans to ban imports of oil and natural gas from Russia — a move seen as one of Washington’s most far-reaching actions to penalize Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. In explaining why he was banning the imports, which carries enormous geopolitical consequences, Biden said, “Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and have made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”
“Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin,” the president said.
U.S. to ban oil imports from Russia as White House explores drastic plans to buffer economy from energy shock
The ban has become a reality after a stretch in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with lawmakers in the United States and around the globe for more action against Russia. Ukraine has again accused Russia of shelling evacuation routes meant to allow civilians to flee battle zones, after Russia said its troops would observe a temporary cease-fire to allow safe passage in several besieged Ukrainian cities.
More than 2 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the start of the invasion, the United Nations said Tuesday.
In historic crisis, 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of Russian invasion, U.N. says
The United States and countries around the world have imposed historic, wide-ranging sanctions on Russia in hope of isolating the country and pressuring Putin to abandon the war. Some of that pressure has been directed toward its central bank and Russian oligarchs considered Putin allies.
The Russian economy has been crippled by the international community’s actions to the point that Putin called for the “normalization” of relations with other states last week, saying Moscow has “absolutely no ill intentions with regard to our neighbors.”
But after saying there was “no need” to escalate the situation or impose further sanctions on Russia, Putin on Saturday said that sanctions and pushback from world leaders in response to the invasion are risking “the future of Ukrainian statehood.” He claimed that the sanctions leveled by the United States and the international community amount to “a means of fighting against Russia.”
“These sanctions that are being imposed are like the declaration of war,” he said.
Putin likens sanctions to a ‘declaration of war,’ says invasion pushback risks future of Ukrainian statehood
Russia is no stranger to sanctions. In 2014, in response to the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea, the United States and Europe sanctioned Russia’s finance, defense and oil industries. Despite those sanctions, the Russian government increased its reserves from $430 billion in May 2014 to $640 billion, financed largely through sales of oil and gas.
When those sanctions were placed on Russia nearly eight years ago, the nation joined other countries that each had thousands of sanctions imposed on them. Most of Iran’s sanctions are related to its nuclear program and support of terrorism, while North Korea has also been repeatedly sanctioned for developing nuclear weapons.
But as the invasion continues and fighting intensifies, Russia is head and shoulders above all others as the king of sanctions.
*Alyssa Fowers and Kate Rabinowitz contributed to this report.