Did Putin Anticipate This?

The UN Human Rights Council is hardly a hotbed of pro-American sentiment. A protest walkout by this group suggests that, propaganda and talking points aside, Russia's diplomatic isolation is becoming very real.

Political theater, yes, but theater with a message--one that is not favorable to Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the oil markets are imposing their own sanctions on Russia, refusing to buy or finance Russian oil--despite the US and the EU going to great lengths to carve out exemptions for energy purchases from their sanction regimes.

The oil market went on strike anyway. Acting as if energy were in the crosshairs of Western sanctions officials, refiners balked at buying Russian oil and banks are refusing to finance shipments of Russian commodities, according to traders, oil executives and bankers.

The self-imposed embargo threatens to drive up energy prices globally by removing a gusher of oil from a market that was tight even before President Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine. Russia, waging war and in need of revenue with its financial system in turmoil, is taking extreme steps to convince companies to buy its most precious commodity.

How will Russia's generals and oligarchs respond to this? Is there a point where they will decide to remove Putin rather than continue this war, and, if so, where is it?