The Western approach to Russia is predicated on the supposition that continued pressure on the country will cause President Vladimir Putin’s regime to make concessions or even crumble. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The assumption underlying the efficacy of Western sanctions is that the sharp economic deterioration that results from them will turn the Russian public, particularly the financial and political elite, against the Kremlin. Putin will not be able to withstand mounting dissent from affluent urban areas and the country’s burgeoning middle class.
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