(Telegraph) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–The West can endure an oil embargo: Putin can’t

There is a reasonable chance that an embargo will set off the internal disintegration of Vladimir Putin’s siloviki regime (KGB mafia), though by what mechanism and on what timetable remains obscure. Will Russia’s patriotic generals agree to devastate the Varingian cradle of Kievan Mother Rus with cluster bombs? I doubt it.

Professor Alan Riley from the Atlantic Council said the combination of central bank sanctions, ejection from the Swift payments system, and an energy embargo could test this brutal but narrow and brittle regime to destruction. “We may reach the point where Putin can’t even pay his troops,” he said.

Those in Europe still baulking at an energy embargo should study what happened in 1935 when Benito Mussolini launched a 400,000-strong invasion of Ethiopia, to the indignation of a world moving beyond imperialism.

Half measures proved to be the worst of all worlds. Calibrated sanctions enraged Mussolini without stopping him. They pushed him into an alliance with Hitler, bringing about what the democracies most feared.

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