In the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is now the most-sanctioned country in the world, with 14,081 sanctions on Russian individuals and entities currently in place, five times the amount compared to before it recognized the Luhansk and Donetsk regions as independent states on February 22, 2022. As our chart based on data aggregated by Castellum.AI shows, Putin’s invasion has pushed Russia past one of the United States’ biggest nemeses in Western Asia.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Iran was by far the most-sanctioned state in history, with 3,616 active sanctions by the United States, the United Nations, the EU and countries like Australia, Canada, India and Israel. The relationship between the latter and the Islamic Republic has been especially fraught, with disputes surrounding Iran’s atomic arsenal and its general hostile stance towards Israel threatening to escalate regularly. The majority of the sanctions imposed on Syria, which ranks third on Castellum.AI’s list, stem from the events surrounding the Syrian civil war starting in 2011. Following civil unrest in connection with the Arab Spring movement, clashes between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and an unlikely coalition of foreign and domestic actors often opposed on critical issues led to a humanitarian crisis and the internal and foreign displacement of more than half of Syria’s 22 million inhabitants over the years.
Leading the current round of sanctions against Russia are the US, Switzerland and Canada with 1,948, 1,782 and 1,590 restrictions, respectively. The majority of those sanctions target individuals, with only 2,210 of the 11,327 sanctions placed on entities, vessels or aircraft. Not included in these figures are sectoral sanctions like general trade embargos on gas or oil. On top of the sanctions put in place by nation-states and governing bodies, over 1,000 companies have in some capacity withdrawn from the Russian market, according to researchers at the Yale School of Management, among them industry heavyweights like Adidas, Google, Disney, Exxon or Volkswagen.