Russian President Vladimir Putin has devoted considerable airtime over the past few weeks to reassuring the Russian public that sanctions hurt the West more than they hurt Russia.
Putin is preparing his country for the long haul. “The collective West does not plan on backing off its policy of economic pressure on Russia,” he told aviation executives recently. Every sector of Russia’s economy needs to “make a long-term plan based on internal opportunities.”
Putin’s policy of self-reliance was predictable. Ever since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the country has been preparing for increased Western sanctions with a strategy dubbed “Fortress Russia.”
And yet the scale of the economic counter-offensive waged by the West since the invasion of Ukraine on February…