aslund67_Konstantin ZavrazhinGetty Images_russian atms sanctions Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

Fortress Russia Crumbles

After years of Vladimir Putin and his cronies mocking the ineffectiveness of previous US and European sanctions and building resilience against future measures, the Russian economy has now effectively collapsed. In launching his war against Ukraine, Putin clearly underestimated Western capabilities and resolve.

WASHINGTON, DC – In the space of a single day, February 28, Vladimir Putin’s “Fortress Russia” collapsed. The ruble plunged by about 30%, and Russian authorities closed all financial markets. Russians raced to ATM machines to withdraw as much money as they could, desperate to exchange it for anything that wasn’t the ruble. Failing that, they stormed shops to buy whatever they could find before prices skyrocketed.