SWIFT Is Yanked While Ukraine Stands Tall And Putin Rages
SWIFT Is Yanked While Ukraine Stands Tall And Putin Rages
It seems that Ukraine standing tall has shamed world leaders. FINALLY, yesterday afternoon, they decided to yank SWIFT banking from Russia.
Western leaders agreed Saturday to impose more financial sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including removing “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT international payments system.
The measures were part of a broader ratcheting-up of international support for Ukraine and pressure on Moscow over Russia’s all-out military assault on its western neighbor. Earlier on Saturday, in a historic reversal of policy, Germany announced it would send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. Other countries also announced increases in military aid to Kyiv.
In a joint statement, the leaders of the United States, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada vowed to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
What this does, as I understand it, is leave Russia high and dry on several new economic fronts. It’s not enough to yank the caviar and the vodka from the shelves, the economic sanctions need to HURT. And SWIFT will do that to a greater extent. Keep in mind, as I noted earlier yesterday, Putin has been war gaming this for a long time.
That said, in the short run, what will SWIFT sanctions do? Not much when you are talking about troops on the ground.
In a downtown government office building, men and women in military fatigues carried rocket-propelled grenades through hallways lined with ornate white crown molding. Others had AK-47s with loaded clips slung over the shoulders. Sandbags rested along windows as protection in case of potential blasts. A public bus pulled up to the building. There were hundreds of boxes of bullets inside.
The Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, which is believed to have more than 130,000 volunteers, has been conducting weekend training sessions for months in preparation to help defend its turf from Russia. Now that the attack has started, Ukrainians across the country are mobilizing and turning to the Territorial Defense Forces to arm them and send them into the fight. Anyone between 18 and 60 can join.
“What’s there to be afraid of?” said 19-year-old Yevgeniy Belinkyi, who was waiting to enlist in Kharkiv. “When I’m sitting around, I’m scared. And here there’s nothing to fear. Here, I know what’s happening, and I hope my loved ones will be all right. I will make sure they are all right.”
In other words, Ukrainians have known this was coming for months and have been preparing. Russia, under Putin’s megalomaniac leadership, has wanted to put the USSR back together. The more he made moves against Ukraine, the more it was obvious the country needed to do its best to prepare. And so they did.
What else will SWIFT do? Definitely not much when you are talking about Ukraine troops and civilians who are making life hell for the Russian military. Which has evidently sent Putin into temper tantrum overdrive.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “furious” that his invasion of Ukraine hasn’t been “easy” after Russian troops have been unable to take even one major city in three days of fighting, according to a member of the European Union Parliament who said he was citing Ukrainian intelligence reports.
I mean, if this thread is accurate, Putin sent his military unprepared!
2/7 Russians didn’t have a tactical plan. The war costs about $20 bln/day. There are rockets for 3-4 days at most, they use them sparingly. They lack weapons, the Tula and 2 Rotenberg plants can’t physically fulfil the orders for weapons. Rifles and ammo are the most they can do.— Riho Terras (@RihoTerras) February 26, 2022
So, Putin thought rolling in to Ukraine would be easy! He obviously forgot how ferocious the Ukrainian people are when their own are threatened! However, some can be gracious in the face of others defeat.
A priceless exchange of a brave Ukrainian citizen with Russian army stuck out of fuel. ENGLISH SUBTITLES.— Ali 🇺🇦🕊 (@aliostad) February 26, 2022
[Thanks to my Ukrainian friend for transcription and translation] pic.twitter.com/Rar3WRXEwD
Meanwhile, there are many Russians who are incredibly UNHAPPY with Putin’s choice to invade the Ukraine.
Will yanking SWIFT be the deal breaker for Russia to get a clue? Have you MET Putin?? The dude, by all accounts is one stubborn SOB. Furthermore, remember when I stated above that there were limits to the SWIFT crackdowns? RIIGHT.
Even as they announced their move, allies were still working to find ways to limit its impact on energy prices. If removing Russian banks from the financial payments service prevented the country from selling oil and natural gas, prices could jump as European customers scrambled to find alternative sources.
The United States and Europe were coordinating with SWIFT to see if there were ways to identify energy transactions in the system or whether exempting certain banks would limit the potential for disruption, a senior U.S. administration official said on a briefing call for reporters.
While Putin is fuming from his country lair (ring any WWII history bells folks?), Ficus Biden is hanging out in his Delaware basement. Where is President Zelensky? NOT running from danger.
100 seconds on how President Zelensky has responded to the invasion. When Russian media reported he'd fled Kyev, he posted a video saying he hadn't. When America offered an evacuation, he replied ‘I need ammunition, not a ride'. Produced Catherine Karelli https://t.co/BKGrSNRAzh pic.twitter.com/RaTZYFk2mi— Ros Atkins (@BBCRosAtkins) February 26, 2022
Feature Photo Credit: Ukraine protestors outside Russian consulate 2018 via Shutterstock, cropped and modified