You may not know this, but The United States has been sanctioning Russia for a number of years now. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the sanctions have been turned up to a previously unheard of level. Let’s take a look.
In 2014 Russia invaded Crimea. This resulted in the first round of sanctions against Russia.
A series of executive orders were signed, resulting in the sanctioning of 480 entities, as well as individuals, ships, and aircrafts. These economic sanctions would act as a deterrent and punishment for Russia’s actions.
The next series of sanctions came after Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. These sanctions were mainly targeted at a company within Russia that engaged in online influence operations. Their ties to the Russian government are unknown, but it is assumed that they are working in tandem.
The next four years, from 2018-2022 involved various geopolitical conflicts and heightened tensions between the two countries. There were a number of smaller sanctions put in place during this period due to issues in Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea.
The most serious set of sanctions came in early 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Arguably the most damaging sanctions came when many Western governments banded together to sanction Russian banks like Sberbank, and Sovcombank. This caused a currency crisis in Russia, with the value of the Russian Ruble plummeting by more than 30% in a single day. A band of Russian Oligarchs were targeted with sanctions as well as Putin himself. This has resulted in the confiscation of Russian property in other countries and has severely limited the mobility of many powerful Russians.
The full magnitude of the sanctions are yet to play out. While sanctions have not acted as a significant deterrent in the past, this new level of sanctions may do the trick. We will have to wait and see how this all plays out.