European sanctions have been levelled against Russia since they seized parts of eastern Ukraine and the Crimea peninsula in 2014.
They have only increased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, most European nations have worked to reduce their dependency on Russian natural gas.
They have successfully delivered this and put the German economy, the manufacturing heart of Europe, at risk.
Russia has experienced the lows help out of natural gas since 1978 onto the Russian natural gas state monopoly Gazprom.
European Sanctions targeting piped natural gas have effectively cut off European supply, and the existing infrastructure cannot be easily redirected.
While Russia has alternative natural gas sources and facilities, the limited workforce and technical challenges make these options difficult to maintain.
The Russian technical education system that actually manages the manufacturing, energy and complicated engineering system collapsed in the mid-1980s, the same time as Russia’s birthrate.
Simply put, the Russian economic system doesn’t have the technical skills to continue manufacturing, nor does it have the population to retrain this particular set of technical skills and the sheer mass to wage the kind of attrition war in Ukraine.
Gerard Dimond, the author of the book Guns, Steel and Germs, argues that societies with large populations succeed because societies that increase in population size will increase the possibilities of generating outliers like Steve Jobs or Nicholas Tesla.
(Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.)
(Steven Paul Jobs was an American business magnate, inventor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple; Pixar’s chairman and majority shareholder; a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar; and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT.)
It is the outliers that push society forward. Without large populations, the chance of having unique individuals driving forward technological advancements means fewer opportunities.
European sanctions are working well, and these efforts may permanently sever ties to Russian natural gas with little impact on their systems. The Russian natural gas industry faces an unprecedented fall from grace, but not all industries have been impacted equally.
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