Russia’s ability to start WW3 weakened by EU, US sanctions

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US AND EU sanctions on Russia are crushing Vladimir Putin’s ability to trigger World War 3 on Western civilisation and Ukraine, according to a top spy from Kiev.

Yehor Bozhok, head of Ukraine’s foreign intelligence service, said crippling international sanctions has cost Moscow more than $173billion between 2014 and 2018, Newsweek reports. Mr Bozhok said the estimates were based on Russia’s own calculations and occurred around the time Crimea was annexed. He said: “By imposing sanctions, the West is not only supporting Ukraine, it is hedging the risk that Russia will use the same money for asymmetric operations against EU countries. “How do you stop Russia? By ensuring the Kremlin’s resources for foreign operations are depleted.”

Other sources have given lower figures but one Russian newspaper recently quoted the Kremlin lost around $600 billion due to sanctions and plummeting oil prices.

Foreign Policy Research Institute academic Nick Trickett said: “It’s incredibly difficult to disaggregate the effect of sanctions from the effects of low oil prices, capital outflows already taking place and the structural challenges facing the Russian economy that prevented it from growing at a healthy clip before Crimea was annexed.

“Further, budget spending was most affected by reliance on oil and gas revenues and was then cut. Revenues have since been adjusted by using a lower oil price, around $49 a barrel, to avoid deficits, as well as moves to increase the tax load on the population.”

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For the past five years, Russia has been crushed by sanctions that punished President Putin for ordering his military into Ukraine and Syria and for the cyber attacks and meddling in the 2016 US election.

Sanctions were also imposed for helping reclusive nation North Korea evade sanctions of their own.

As a result, inflation in Russia has plummeted significantly since 2015.

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Despite this, many analysts have claimed that further interference in the run-up to Ukraine’s March 31 presidential elections is inevitable from Russia.

The news follows footage that emerged in November of Russia seizing three Ukrainian naval ships and their sailors around the the Sea of Azov, which borders the Crimean peninsula.

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