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Tipsheet

Putin's Stymied Invasion of Ukraine Is Tanking Russia's Economy

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

As sanctions levied by the West land hits on Russia's economy, Moscow's stock exchange remained closed on Monday amid reports that Vladimir Putin would assemble his economic advisors to address the early consequences of his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

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The early impacts of sanctions against Russia saw oil prices in the U.S. rising while the Russian Ruble fell more than 40 percent overnight and many Russians are starting off a new week finding that common transactions stopped working almost overnight.

According to a report from The Associated Press, "Moscow’s department of public transport warned city residents over the weekend that they might experience problems with using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to pay fares because VTB, one of the Russian banks facing sanctions, handles card payments in Moscow’s metro, buses and trams."

And Russia is scrambling to stop its currency's free-fall, but their efforts aren't working so far:

Russia’s central bank immediately stepped in to try to halt the slide of the ruble. It sharply raised its key interest rate Monday in a desperate attempt to shore up the currency and prevent a run on banks.

The bank hiked the benchmark rate to 20% from 8.5%. That followed a Western decision Sunday to freeze Russia’s hard currency reserves, an unprecedented move that could have devastating consequences for the country’s financial stability.

It was unclear exactly what share of Russia’s estimated $640 billion hard currency pile, some of which is held outside Russia, would be paralyzed by the decision. European officials said that at least half of it will be affected.

That dramatically raised pressure on the ruble by undermining financial authorities’ ability to support it by using reserves to purchase rubles.

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Meanwhile the global impact of sanctions on Russia saw U.S. oil prices rise five percent to start the week, another impact of America's dependence of foreign oil that came after the Biden administration killed off domestic energy projects in the name of going green. 

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) pointed out that the United States could further punish Russia while strengthening America's position in the world by returning to energy independence. 

President Biden, and the dependence on foreign oil he brought back to the United States, means that even while his administration touts sanctions, it continues to pay Russia for fuel — a heckuvah contradictory position for the Biden administration to find itself in. And, as Townhall covered earlier, Biden's energy policies helped enrich and enable Putin's Russian aggression in the first place. 

As many companies withdraw from Russia, the regime finds its finances frozen, and citizens feel the pain brought by their leaders' actions, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is warning that the sanctions won't make Putin back away quietly. Calling the current situation the "most dangerous moment in 60 years," Rubio noted that the "extraordinary consequences" to the Russian economy "will not be easy to reverse," and Putin's "only options to reset this imbalance are catastrophic ones."

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