It appears as though the US and Europe are starting to put sanctions in place that are targeting the right people:
"February 22, 2022 (Tuesday)
Today Russian president Vladimir Putin said he’s recognizing the full territories claimed by the upstart governments of Ukrainian eastern provinces Luhansk and Donetsk. Josh Kovensky of Talking Points Memo points out that since those governments only control about a third and a half of the territory, respectively, in those provinces, this recognition would mean that Ukraine is occupying land that belongs to those breakaway regions.
Today, the European Union led the way on announcing sanctions against members of Russia’s leadership, reinforcing the idea of international cooperation against Putin. The E.U.’s 27 member states unanimously agreed to freeze the assets and ban the visas of 351 members of the Duma, the Russian government’s lower house of parliament, who backed recognition of the rogue governments within Ukraine.
The U.K. followed suit, sanctioning three "high net worth individuals" in Russia and five major Russian banks.
Germany halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, a project worth up to $15 billion to Russia.
In a speech this afternoon, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. has imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, one of which is associated with the Russian military, and five individuals, including one who is in charge of VK, Russia’s largest social media network, and one that is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It also sanctioned Russia’s debt, cutting off its access to western financing.
The U.S. has gone after Russia’s ability to fund military contracts and raise new money to attack Ukraine. It also is joining with other nations to put the squeeze on what the Treasury Department calls “influential Russians and their family members in Putin’s inner circle believed to be participating in the Russian regime’s kleptocracy.” The goal, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, is to “begin the process of dismantling the Kremlin’s financial network and its ability to fund destabilizing activity in Ukraine and around the world.”
This first group of sanctions seems carefully targeted to hit Putin’s inner circle without sweeping in the Russian people. By applying pressure gradually, it also maintains leverage to try to dissuade Putin from escalating, which would not be the case if the U.S. threw everything at Russia immediately, leaving Putin no reason to change course. And yet, those sanctions remain on the table. Yellen said, “We continue to monitor Russia’s actions and if it further invades Ukraine, the United States will swiftly impose expansive economic sanctions that will have a severe and lasting impact on Russia’s economy.” *