In this excellent article the NYT reports that Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, having long taken credit for boom times and cultivated an image of prowess, finds himself unable to end the nation’s longest recession since he came to power.
This is well researched and argued article but it is deeply worrying.
Be sure to click on the graphic, there’s much additional evidence.
The Russian people are clearly hurting and we can assume that Putin’s government will blame the Americans and the Europeans. Putin has proved himself very fast in executing major policy shifts, often leaving other world leaders looking like bungling fools. But Putin in a corner is a very dangerous animal.
Let me ask an open question:
Should America and Europe offer Russia an olive branch and suspend sanctions against Russia?