'Complete standstill:' Sanctions leave Russia facing 'economic oblivion'
Russia leader Vladimir Putin. (Shutterstoc)

Western sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine are doing their job — and decimating the Russian economy, according to a new paper headed up by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale University.

"The paper's results include sobering facts about the Russian economy," Axios reports. "'Russian imports have largely collapsed,' the paper says — creating massive supply shortages and denying the country crucial parts and technologies."

The exodus of over 1,000 global companies from Russia has severely damaged its economy, the authors argue, and any posturing of strength or resilience by Moscow is not an accurate reflection of what's actually going on. Official data coming out of Russia are not true, they said.

Professor Sam Greene, a British academic in Russian politics and director of the Russia Institute at King's College London, described the effects sanctions are having on the lives of everyday citizens in an interview with TimesRadio on Monday.

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Making matters worse for Russia, their one bit of leverage of Europe — cutting exports of natural gas — doesn't appear to be working, because only 46 percent of Europe's gas comes from Russia, whereas 83 percent of Russian natural gas exports go to Europe, meaning the cuts actually hurt Russia more than Europe.

But, according to the study, Russia needs Europe as an energy customer to a greater degree than Europe needs Russian natural gas.

Ultimately, the warring nation has little hope for an economic recovery, the researchers said.

In their words: "Looking ahead, there is no path out of economic oblivion for Russia as long as the allied countries remain unified in maintaining and increasing sanctions pressure."

This comes as another analysis reveals that China — one of Russia's most important allies — is not fully committed to helping Vladimir Putin either. While China is buying Russian energy to make up for Europe's reduced imports, the country is also publicly committing to support Ukraine's territorial sovereignty — and is not aiding the Russian military.

With Matthew Chapman.