#RussiaUkraine: Sanctions targeted at members of Putin's elite could instill doubt about his conduct
Leaders in Europe and the US hoped that economic sanctions would have enough deterrent power to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine. It did not. "One wonders at this point what the effectiveness of the sanctions will be," explains Livio Di Lonardo, assistant professor of political science at Bocconi. "These punitive sanctions are designed first and foremost to keep up the credibility of other future sanctions against Putin or other adversaries," Di Lonardo continues. But can sanctions have an immediate impact on current events? "In recent years, Putin has taken steps to protect the Russian economy from sanctions that he expected." The hope is that targeted sanctions against the narrow elite, which is crucial to Putin's survival in power, "can create an internal rift by changing the expectations of these elites. Thus convincing them that the course of action chosen by Putin will lead to a decrease in the economic benefits they have received over the years."