(The New York Times) MOSCOW — Russia, facing the toughest round of Western sanctions imposed since the Ukraine crisis erupted, has adopted a nonchalant public stance, with President Vladimir V. Putin emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and a new poll released Tuesday indicating a “What, me worry?” attitude among the bulk of the population.
But beneath that calm facade, there is growing alarm in Russia that the festering turmoil in Ukraine and the new round of far more punitive sanctions — announced Tuesday by both European nations and the United States — will have an impact on Russia’s relations with the West for years to come and damage the economy to the extent that ordinary Russians feel it. […]
“They were not anticipating the West to make radical moves, costly moves,” said Nikolai Petrov, an independent political analyst. “What is happening is different from what they wanted and what they expected.”
“Until this catastrophe, Putin’s calculations were pretty good in terms of being able to win any tactical battle,” Mr. Petrov said.
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