Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday March 4, 2022
Could Putin Go Nuclear?
That escalated quickly.
Five days ago, it looked like the west’s response to Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression would be tepid. Its first round of sanctions was replete with loopholes large enough to jam gas pipelines through. But Ukraine’s resolve has proven contagious. The Ukrainians’ willingness to die in defense of their national sovereignty and their capacity to inflict casualties on Russia have outstripped the expectations of their friends and enemies alike. This demonstration seems to have stiffened spines in Berlin and Brussels. Over the weekend, Europe and the U.S. declared something close to financial war on the Russian state. The western powers announced they were freezing all Russian central bank assets held in the E.U., U.S., Canada, and Britain and evicting Russian banks from the international payments system known as SWIFT. As a result, the Russian people saw the value of their savings collapse over night.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and E.U. continued funneling weapons to Ukrainian forces.