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You can’t cancel Putin Hurting the president's feelings won't end the war

It is thought that Putin will be very upset to have lost his tae kwon do black belt. Credit: Mikhail KlimentyevTASS via Getty Images

It is thought that Putin will be very upset to have lost his tae kwon do black belt. Credit: Mikhail KlimentyevTASS via Getty Images


March 7, 2022   6 mins

“We cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing.” It’s a statement that resonates, the kind of thing you’d expect to hear from those we empower to keep the peace: Nato, the UN, our leaders. But this solemn vow to do something came not from a government official nor a global peace organisation, but from the International Cat Federation, which last week announced that cats bred or owned by Russians would be barred from competition henceforth. It was a decision that made headlines around the world. Some criticised it; some heartily approved. But everyone who engaged with that story had one thing in common: they clicked.

After all, what else were they going to do?

The conflict in Eastern Europe has thrown the inherent tensions of digital culture into sharp relief. If the war itself is unfolding too slowly, a public hungry for content will get their fix in other ways, filling the void with viral videos and Ukrainian flag emojis, finger-wagging everyone else for being insufficiently engaged, or sombre, or whatever. We may not be on the ground in Ukraine, but we’re on the front lines of the accessory culture war, fighting our common enemy with the only weapon we’ve got: cancellation.

Russian films have been barred from festivals in Glasgow and Toronto, while Hollywood films from Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros are skipping their Russian release. London’s Royal Opera House has cancelled the Bolshoi Ballet. Russian athletes (and in some cases, those from neighbouring country and ally Belarus) have been suspended from competition by FIFA, the International Skating Union, and the Paralympics. In Milan, a course on Dostoevsky — which perhaps didn’t mention the fact that he spent multiple years in exile for defying the Russian state — was cancelled (albeit reinstated after backlash).

And then there’s the vodka, that famous export now the subject of performative destruction. In American liquor stores and supermarkets, Russian vodka has been removed from displays; in a viral Twitter post, a bartender at a ski resort in Vermont poured a bottle of Stoli down the drain.

Even as reasonable voices beg the general public to maintain a sense of perspective — and as countless articles seek to remind us, “the war is not about you” — the impulse is nevertheless easy to understand. No longer is politics a topic thought to be best avoided in public; these days, your good standing in polite society (not to mention the continued operation of your business) requires your vocal participation in the cause du jour. One is reminded of that moment in mid-2020 when every corporation suddenly felt compelled to announce its support of Black Lives Matter in the most strident possible terms. Neutrality was complicity; silence was violence. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we need to know who our neighbours vote for. We need to know if the local hardware store supports the LGBT community. We need to know Doritos’ deep thoughts about racism and police brutality. We need, we insist, to know how the International Cat Federation feels about Vladimir Putin.

Because in spite of everything, we remain convinced that this is, somehow, all about us: our sense that we are owed complete political solidarity by the brands we consume, our histrionic sense of betrayal when we don’t get it. The ski resort bartender pouring his Stoli down the drain would probably like to think of himself as a resistance hero; really, he’s more akin to the angry Republicans who set their Nikes on fire when the company hired Colin Kaepernick as a spokesman.

Now, as in 2020, people generally mean well — even if what they’re doing ranges from empty gestures to gross absurdities. As those in charge strategise support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia in the hopes of achieving submission through economic starvation, culture warriors hope that barring Russian athletes and artists from the global stage is an effective secondary strategy. One such argument in The Atlantic suggested that depriving ordinary Russian citizens of the pleasures of seeing their country compete in the Olympics or enjoying the latest MCU blockbuster might provoke them to turn on their leaders — not to mention how much it’ll piss Putin off. (“The decisions to strip him both of his titles as honorary president and ambassador of the International Judo Federation and of his honorary black belt in tae kwon do are particularly personal blows”.)

That’s the optimistic take, of course; the cynical one is to note how very, very reminiscent this argument is of that moment when Left-wing commentators thought they were really sticking it to Donald Trump by making fun of the size of his hands and referring to him as “Drumpf”. You know, right before he was elected the President of the United States.

And even if the symbolic resistance of cultural boycotts is an important piece of the puzzle, then those measures still need to make sense — and here one must note, setting aside the questionable impact of one man in Vermont trashing one bottle of spirits that was already bought and paid for, that Stoli vodka is not actually produced in Russia. The Stoli company is Latvian and owned by the Luxembourg-based SPI beverage group.

This absurdity reveals the dark side of the current fever: adopting a hostile stance toward anything that sounds Russian is undergirded by a potent mix of ignorance and misdirected aggression that ought not to be indulged. It’s the sort of blunt impulse that led to the harassment of blameless, turban-wearing American Sikhs in the wake of 9/11, a spasm of bigotry against anything that seemed Muslim which we now look back at with shame and chagrin. Even as much remains uncertain, we know that this with-us-or-against-us line of thinking rarely leads anywhere good.

Well-intended or not, imposing guilt by association on ordinary Russians — the classical musicians, the cat owners, the athletes — in the hopes of inspiring mass resistance against Putin is absurd. Demanding that Russian expats denounce their homeland contains ugly shades of McCarthyism (not to mention that speaking out may put their families at risk). And in the case of Russians now trapped in their country, it’s not just morally questionable but unlikely to be effective, given the country’s merciless crackdown on dissenters against the war. It’s easy for westerners to forget that our willingness to protest our government goes hand in hand with the guaranteed freedom to do so; if speaking up came at serious personal risk, many of us would choose to keep quiet (and keep our skulls intact).

It’s also a betrayal of an important tradition, one in which art, sport, and culture are supposed to sustain our sense of shared humanity in times of tragedy, including war. There’s a reason why the famous Christmas ceasefire during World War I was marked by football matches and music — or why, when the Cold War between the then-USSR and the US finally ended, it was thanks in part to the effects of cultural exchange and engagement between the two nations. Of the many videos to emerge from Ukraine in the past week, some of the more hopeful ones show Russian prisoners being offered bread, tea, and a chance to call their parents.

Yes, these isolated feel-good stories pale in comparison to the wide-ranging and countless horrors of war, but the sentiment they contain is anything but cheap: embedded in each of these moments is a broader perspective, the understanding that we all still have to share a planet when the fighting is done. To isolate, alienate, and demonise those on the other side may satisfy one’s sense of purpose in the moment, but it also creates rifts with our neighbours that are not easily fixed.

Meanwhile, Americans of all people should understand that the citizens of a country cannot be expected to shoulder the guilt of their president’s misdeeds. The character of an entire people is not defined by the worst whims of its most authoritarian lunatic. But here, too, our perspective is skewed: we are too used to being able to criticise, insult and openly rail against our political leaders. We are too used to the meaningless performative bluster of American politics. We are, in short, so used to culture wars that we’ve forgotten that real wars have different stakes and are not won by rhetoric — and that if the US decided to truly involve itself in this conflict, a victory would not be measured by how much we managed to hurt Putin’s feelings.

In the meantime, punishing a bunch of figure skaters, cats, filmmakers, and the corpse of Fyodor Dostoevsky for Vladimir Putin’s warmongering is the emptiest of endeavours, like painting half your face blue and booing your favourite football team’s rivals from the safety of your living room. But nobody will emerge at the end of this conflict to hand out awards for team spirit; nobody will congratulate you for all the vodka you didn’t drink. Nobody will ask you, “What did you do during the war?”, when the war had nothing to do with you. And when someone says, “We cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing”, the truth is: yes, you can. Better a witness than a self-involved keyboard warrior. Better to watch than turn away.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

Watching progressives that believe in abolising states, borders and policing suddenly become pro-technocracy chest thumping warmongers has been most fascinating.

Dominic A
Dominic A
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes, the imagination is a fascinating realm.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

Great essay. It will be interesting to see if the rhetoric is so strident in three months when, I’m guessing, Russia has militarily conquered Ukraine and has begun the long, grinding task of trying to govern that country.
Will there be the same willingness to boycott Russian grain and oil when food and energy prices are inflated? Will Germany really follow through, over the next several years, on its recent commitment to rebuild its military and to switch back to coal and nuclear fuel until they develop a renewable energy strategy that doesn’t depend on Russia?
Short term outrage can be satisfying, but reversion to the status quo ante is always so comfortable over the long haul.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Perhaps we should have boycotted sauerkraut back in ‘39? We could have altered the arc of history!

Stephen Walshe
Stephen Walshe
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Things are not going to go back to normal. The invasion of a country of 44 million by one of 142 million is not normal. In three months time Europe will have had to deal with an influx of perhaps tens of millions of refugees (Ukrainians and opportunists), with all the economic and healthcare consequences of that, during a cost of living crisis. I don’t think they will be more favourably disposed towards Russia at that stage.

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You certainly are “guessing.”
But you ought to tell that to the Russian lads attacking Mykolaiv–oops–they’re not attacking Mykolaiv anymore.
How strange…

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

Great essay. The guy pouring away the Stoli that had been bought and paid for and where the company is not even Russian-owned underlines just how thick our society has become. Online knee-jerk reactions that give a short kick of moral superiority and the thrill of several thousand clicks without bothering to think about the details are now the standard level of civic engagement. Once that’s done, then that is your contribution isn’t it? Nothing more to do. And that also goes for all of us here in the UnHerd forum too.
As I learnt from the refugee crisis in 2015, it is better to stand back from the first emotional response wave and settle in for the long term. Resist the knee-jerk reactions and empty gestures and the peer pressure to “do something, NOW” and try and identify (and settle in for) the long term consequences*.
[* Long term consequence = anything that requires more thought and engagement than seeing and liking a tweet]

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
2 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Online knee-jerk reactions that give a short kick of moral superiority and the thrill of several thousand clicks without bothering to think about the details are now the standard level of civic engagement.

That’s such an online knee-jerk reaction. Examples of over-reach are abundant in every era, at an individual and national level. The dismantling of metal fences to make weapons in WWII (actually thrown into the sea); the internment of Japanese Americans; the standard jokes about Germans, Japanese etc which were perfectly acceptable, for most of the 20th century (dying out sometime in the 1990s).

Stephen Walshe
Stephen Walshe
2 years ago

For years Russian state media has churned out anti-Western propaganda and conspiracy theories. Russians have imbibed it with their mother’s milk. Now there is a demonstration that openness to the West brought many benefits to Russia, and that isolation and hostility is very costly. This demonstration may be counterproductive, but the Russian people and elite need to understand that this ends if Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine, and things can go back to the way they were. If the President won’t do that, perhaps another leader might.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

I also seem to recall five years of anti-Russian propaganda in the United States after the powers that be, needed to explain how Hillary lost.

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

I suspect most Russians do remember what openness to the West brought in the 90s. Or that while the West are grabbing oligarch assets when convenient for them, these same countries happily welcomed those billionaires as they looted Russia and stripped the country to the bone.

And while you might dismiss it as propaganda, Russians would know for instance that “things can go back to the way they were” means a return to neo Nazis such as the Azovs murdering thousands of civilians in the Russian majority Eastern Ukraine provinces, Russian language being suppressed in Ukraine and NATO steadily expanding further eastwards to the very borders of Russia.

Terence Fitch
TF
Terence Fitch
2 years ago

I taught for many years. Bullies are always insecure, envious, bitter and resentful. He’s very like those kids. They also try and buy friends because no one likes them. Again it’s what he’s done with his wretched cowardly Siloviki- the latter day Oprichniki. What a benighted country. A state run as a mafia organisation.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

In 2013, Putin offered Ukraine a big soft loan to stay away from the West – much more generous (seemingly) than what was on offer from the EU at the time. Ukraine said “no” so next year Putin invaded Crimea. Shades of the domestic abuser who goes between showering his victim with flowers and chocolates and declaring his undying love, and then beating her up the next day.

Bernard Hill
BH
Bernard Hill
2 years ago

That’s too simplistic Lennon. May I suggest you look up the 2018 address by the journalist, Vladimir Pozner at Yale. Talk about prescient.
If the West is not truthful about how we got to here, the successful way out will be obscured.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Let’s stop trying to understand a tyrant and stop making excuses for him. The Ukrainian population has no reason to like or trust Russia. Think of the many millions who died from famine or deportation to Siberia in the 20s and 30s. Think of the fact that serfdom was unknown in the Ukraine until the Russians introduced it to them in the 19th century. Why wouldn’t they seek closer ties with the West? Why should the West stop them? They should be free to choose, and Russia needs to give up the idea of empire and the idea of puppet states.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago

We want you to love us and we’ll shell and bomb you until you do.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
2 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

…heaping disdain on top of disrespect is a sure way of ensuring a former enemy remains one. Contrast the West’s approach to the rehab of Japan and Germany, with the political failure to override bureaucratic self interest and reset NATO in the 1990’s.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bernard Hill
Martin Logan
Martin Logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Vladimir Putin–a good boy gone bad.
And it’s all our fault!

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

It’s not disdain it’s regret and sadness. Very hard to imagine being in a country with no sense ever of an independent judiciary or ‘magna carta’ style tradition and habeas corpus. The Rus were originally brought in at the beginning because the Novgorod slavs needed an overlord to prevent chaos. Then Mongol Yoke, Ivan the Terrible etc. Always the view that a ‘little father’ – Tsar, Stalin etc needs to be brutal to keep everything going and plurality and debate must mean weakness. Plenty of commenters on here who believe that clearly. Russian writers since Pushkin are obsessed with suffering as a good. Modern ones like Sorokin see it as madness and despair.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

True but he’s still a murderous tyrant

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
2 years ago

Admittedly, events will be decided on the battlefield.
But the near-universal anger does send a message to all Russians: their nation is now totally isolated, with most of its tactical elements already committed to an unwinnable war. Oh, by the way, the stock market remains closed after over a week.
As long as weapons and supplies are brought in from the West, the Russian army is doomed–either by slow attrition, or an abrupt collapse. That the Ukrainian air force still flies is an even greater indictment of the Russian air force’s capabilities.
Moreover, unlike WW2, there are no “Siberian reserves in the east,” about to come to the rescue. That Russia instead is recruiting Syrian mercenaries shows the manpower pool is dry.
This is because Putin dare not start conscripting middle class Russians (totally untrained anyway) to fight the war. Then Russians really will come out on to the streets.
This was an abysmally planned operation, based on fantasies about a nation no one in the Kremlin understood. Ironically, it even compares poorly with Hitler’s 1941 invasion. At least the latter had a few initial successes.
Better start planning about what happens after Putin–or even what happens after Russia.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Logan
David Nebeský
David Nebeský
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

After Putin? An another  brutal Russian tsar will dream of conquering neighbouring countries and subduing the West.

Andrew Langridge
AL
Andrew Langridge
2 years ago

It is often surprising how effective cultural and sporting boycotts are. The sporting boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa made a surprisingly big impact and was a decisive factor in its eventual collapse. ‘Bread and circuses’ was said to be the way the Romans maintained their power. In the modern globalised world, these factors are likely to be even stronger. No matter how much censorship and propaganda the Russian authorities deliver, the disappearance of many things middle class Russians take for granted in their daily lives is an inescapable demonstration of Russia’s international isolation, and might well lead to a groundswell of pressure that Putin cannot ignore.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
2 years ago

No matter what the crisis, the Western Elites and followers are first and foremost virtue signalers. Never, never do anything that would disrupt your world when you can wear a ribbon, spout nonsense on TV and attack people who generally have nothing to do with the crisis. When you see the Climate Change bunch flying all over to solve the problem you can know that increasing our Fossil Fuel or Nuclear production as a counterweight to the crisis is not in the planning. I’m sick of all of them. Great article.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

Great comment.

Sharon Overy
SO
Sharon Overy
2 years ago

Very good article. Thank you.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago

We are living in the era of social-media-fuelled “somethingism”. As in, “isn’t that war/pandemic/genocide terrible?” Followed by entreaties that “something must be done”. Followed by some absurd social media performance – cancelling Russian cats, tweeting yourself on a hike in the middle of nowhere wearing a face mask, etc. etc.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lennon Ó Náraigh
Martin Logan
Martin Logan
2 years ago

Pretty much a strawman argument.
If you don’t like just “liking” anti-Putin facebook posts, there are plenty of places where you can support either civilian relief, or aid for th Ukrainian army. I’ve given quite a bit to the Ukrainian Freedome Fund, but there are many others. Here’s a list from the Ukrainian Institute in London: Russia’s war against Ukraine. What can you do to support Ukraine & Ukrainians? ‣ Ukrainian Institute London

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

Agreed, for most people their ability to actually change anything of note is extremely limited. If donating to Ukrainian causes or boycotting Russian goods is the limit of their influence then they shouldn’t be criticised for doing it, even if it achieves next to nothing

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, the article – although well worded – was ultimately just agitation with no solution.

My thought reading it was continuously, ‘Well okay, but what is the alternative?’

John Lee
JL
John Lee
2 years ago

What is the number?
What is the number of Ukranian dead that is acceptable before some action is taken by the West. (why is it the West that has to take action)
Is it maybe 100,000 dead or possibly one million dead, is there a number in the governments mind or is the horror going to be endless.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
2 years ago
Reply to  John Lee

….the horror will end, but with multiple millions of more deaths if Putin (and the Russian people) are backed into a corner with no escape.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bernard Hill
Martin Logan
ML
Martin Logan
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

The “escape” appears to be getting all of Ukraine.
As Dostoevsky observed about certain of his fellow Russians, “it’s Napoleon or nothing!”

David Nebeský
DN
David Nebeský
2 years ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

So you propose to allow the Russians to kill and enslave whomever they please. And did it occur to you that this would lead to “multiple millions of more deaths”, too? Not to mention the hundreds of millions enslaved? We are speaking about the whole Europe here.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

“a potent mix of ignorance and misdirected aggression that ought not to be indulged.”

But how indulged they are! And they vote too. It’s no wonder autocrats rule in some parts of the world.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
2 years ago

It’s a further validation of the mass formation psychosis theory that after the hypnotised sheeple awaken, they choose to remember nothing.

Karlo Tasler
Karlo Tasler
2 years ago

Very intelligent article with the focus on the main weapon of this times – cancelation. To cancel somebody these days gives me a feeling of discomfort. Especially when I remember Joe Rogan and many others were labelled as fake news spreaders very recently. It is a very dangerous game cancellers play.

Art C
AC
Art C
2 years ago

“easy for westerners to forget that our willingness to protest our government goes hand in hand with the guaranteed freedom to do so” ..
Unless, of course, you live in the boy tyrant’s Canada.

Graham Strugnell
GS
Graham Strugnell
2 years ago

The gymnast who recently wore a Z on his tracksuit (a symbol of support for the way) shows that sport and propaganda go hand in hand. Wake up.

Bernard Hill
BH
Bernard Hill
2 years ago

….but sport is a safer arena to posture in surely.

R S Foster
RF
R S Foster
2 years ago

…true, up to a point…but best evidence is that many older Russians get most if not all their information from official channels…in which it is a necessary, proportionate and virtuous undertaking against a brutal regime of Neo-Nazi Perverts…to prevent them from undertaking systematic genocide against innocent Russian-Speakers…and widely supported by all Ukrainians but said genocidal degenerates.
These various symbolic acts MIGHT get some of them wondering if they are being told the truth…as will Russian POW’s being allowed to phone their Mums…and the dead and injured being sent home (if they are…mobile crematoria are alleged to be held up in the column heading south, and Russia is a big place where it might be most convenient to “treat” the injured several hundred kilometres North of the Arctic Circle)…
…so, to that extent, and performative as they are…some of these actions might be useful…in time.

Last edited 2 years ago by R S Foster
Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
2 years ago

No-one should be allowed to express any opinion on Ukraine until they’ve studied a map of the region.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeffrey Chongsathien
James Chater
JC
James Chater
2 years ago

Accepted the current ‘virtuous’ Russo-phobia is often wrong and counter-productive. But is this really comparable to the so-called ‘culture wars’, invariably restricted to university campuses, ‘cancelling’, etc.?
For sure if Russia was not threatening to use nuclear weapons (and of course they wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine without that), there would be a full-on military confrontation and more minds and energy would be concentrated on direct involvement.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

It is a bit depressing. I Witnessed George W Bush’s 90 percent approval ratings and the death threats to Barbara Lee from being the lone no vote on the AUMF… many from her own super liberal district. I can say I was not part of that hysteria either. I guess I am just an oddball. I grew up a barely middle class kid from the rust belt who served in the military during desert storm. I was never all in though. Not even when I was in the military. I should have been all in considering my background. After studying this phenomenon I concluded our educational and political systems are corrupt. I studied a lot of material trying to make sense of it all. They use propaganda to indoctrinate everyone and make us pliable. The Late John Taylor Gatto’s book the Underground History of American Education, Edward Bernay’s Propaganda, Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free are good reads to attempt to unprogram yourself. Goebbels himself was a student. Bernays talks about it in his autobiography. Asked if it bothered his conscience Bernays dismissed it as any insight can be used by humans for good or evil. Implying we use this manipulation only for good of course. Ahh to be so naive. Or is it arrogance? The only way not to be influenced by propaganda is to become very educated in it. We are literally steeped in it passed our eyeballs. I think I’ve repeated several times.. Who is the Fors Marsh Group and what have they done to earn $400 million dollars during the corona virus? Laura Dodsworth did some fantastic work publishing her book State of Fear. The West runs on propaganda.
https://wikipedikia.org/did-goebbels-read-bernays/

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Boylon
Luna
Luna
1 year ago

I’d say the sanctions against Russia at the moment, are a bit beyond “Keyboard warriors” and “cancel culture”. It’s hard to predict how well it will work and how Germany can wean itself from Russian fossil fuels, but this is serious business and you reducing it to “cancel culture” seems more trivializing than some of the dumber choices people made in terms of who and what to target.
Your article is very one-sided focusing on some of the more random or even weird targets by some individuals, organizations, or cities. The fact is that several governments including the US, UK, and most EU countries among others have committed to hard economic sanctions. Some are directed mostly against the oligarchs and kleptos as Alexei Navalny -Russia’s main opposition figure now in prison-and his organization have long recommended, while other seem bent on slowing the war machine down.
The other fact is that some of the problems such as Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas or the world’s reliance on a relatively small number of key crops are issues that aren’t going away. Even if the war was over and Navalny President of Russia by next week, the world would have to grapple with those things. it’s mostly a shame that it even took war for people to take these things seriously.
As for targeting the Western located property of oligos/kleptos that part is a legal, political, and investigative nightmare decades in the making. While not all Russians with high value property in the West are oligarchs, kleptos, or Putin supporters focusing too much on things like banning Russian cats from cat shows, or bartenders pouring vodka down the sink, doesn’t add much value to any discussion of how to best target some of these ill-gotten gains or sort out complicit Russians from innocent ones.
The fact is that the current admin here and in several countries has a task force on going after the high value property of people who have been ID’d as enabling Putin. Biden has invoked the DPA for electric cars and proposed doing the same for heat pumps to be sold at cost in Europe-so they can do without Russian gas. This is way beyond “keyboard warriors”.
To the person who pointed out that sometimes sports boycotts do work, as happened with South Africa, thanks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Luna