People holding signs saying "Russians Against War"
It is in Western countries’ long-term interest to invite Russians to experience other narratives than those distributed by the Kremlin. | Photo: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona | Unsplash License

The Battle for Minds and Hearts of Russians and the Double-sided Effect of Sanctions

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine Western countries have imposed devastating sanctions on Russia. This blog argues that the current sanctions-regime help boost Kremlin-propaganda, ultimately diminishing the possibility that sanctions will procure a popular uprising or help stop the war. Western states and private organisations must avoid cultural and academic sanctions against Russians and explore ways of helping and influencing Russian civil society while comprehensive sanctions against Kremlin-linked entities are in place.