Sanctions ‘shock therapy’ for ‘brainwashed’ Russians: ex-Yeltsin official

Andrei Kozyrev, who served as Russia’s foreign minister under former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, said Saturday that Western sanctions against Russia are important because they should be “a wake-up call” for Russians who have been “brainwashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin be subjected”.

His comments came during an interview on CNN after the former Russian official was asked about a rally Putin held in Moscow on Friday to mark the eighth anniversary of the country’s annexation of Crimea and to announce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .

Moderator Fredricka Whitfield showed video footage of the rally and asked Kozyrev if the thousands of people at the stadium were “all brainwashed”.

“Is it that they all agree with Putin? Or is there some other motivation for being there in that number, waving the flag and cheering for Putin in the middle of this invasion?” she asked.

“According to sources from Russia, many of them disagree, many,” Kozyrev replied. He said some of the people in the crowd were intimidated – “and that’s it [Putin’s] Strategy … towards the West, its strategy towards Ukraine and its strategy towards the Russian people … is to intimidate”.

Kozyrev also believes that people were paid to attend the rally, arguing that “some of them, probably a significant number of them, were really brainwashed”.

“That’s why the sanctions are important, even if they affect the population. Because it should be a wake-up call, some kind of shock therapy, to make those people wake up to what’s really happening,” he added.

In February, President Joe Biden announced that the US imposed sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, targeting big banks and members of Russia’s elite and limiting the country’s ability to import certain goods from the US

Andrei Kozyrev, who previously served as Russia’s foreign minister, said sanctions should be “a wake-up call” for Russians who are “brainwashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Above: Putin speaks during a rally in Moscow, Russia, March 18.

A Russian economist warned this month that Russia’s economy faces “catastrophe” after the economic measures.

Ruben Enikolopov, an economist and rector of the New Economics School in Moscow, told the Moscow times that Russian officials are not doing enough in response to the sanctions.

“As for the government, the problem is that they are silent about the economy,” he said. “The first reaction for a lot of them – because they grew up in the Soviet Union, so that’s their mentality – is price controls and things like that. They may work temporarily, but in the long run it’s a disaster for the economy.”

After the Russian invasion, major rating agencies including Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Russia’s credit rating. Sanctions ‘shock therapy’ for ‘brainwashed’ Russians: ex-Yeltsin official

Rick Schindler

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