To the eternal shame of Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin cronies, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has opened a new era in global politics. As a consequence, it has seriously undermined the post-Cold War international system. What can the West do about it beyond fulminating on the sidelines?
Russia has developed an outsized ability to exercise considerable influence abroad. And despite having an economy smaller than Italy’s, Russia has managed to spread its tentacles around the world. The strategy is reminiscent of that pursued by the Soviet Union, which was locked for decades after the Second World War in a global battle for influence with America, but with one crucial difference: it’s not about ideology, just money and mutual convenience.