If any were inclined to believe that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War meant the end of the Russian question they were wrong with a capital W. After years of post Cold War decline and humiliation, which Putin felt in his own way as acutely as Hitler did for Germany, (during which the West undoubtedly could have done more in terms of welcoming Russia back into the family of nations) President Putin is making strenuous efforts to catapult Russia back onto the stage of the world. What makes this particularly complicated is that the stronger his stance towards the West, the more his own people love him.
He has been hampered, however, by the unexpected financial difficulties and setbacks the Russian economy encountered last year, partly as a result of Western sanctions but still more by the freefall in the price of oil. Rouble inflation went up from 11% in December to 15% in January, with the prices of certain high-tech items soaring much higher.
For those interested in such matters, see:
Is it an ironic coincidence or something far more prophetically alarming that the “Great Powers” should have been meeting in Munich, the scene of the highly flawed Munich Agreement of 1938?
Munich 1938, See: Munich’s Lessons for the Ukraine Crisis.