Last year, the United States had everything to gain: it emerged from the COVID with a strong economy. Oil and gas prices were lower, employment was higher, and inflation was lower. Russia, meanwhile, has been hit hard by declining energy revenues, a stagnant economy and widespread COVID outbreaks with no effective vaccine or treatment.
How could things have gone so wrong and fast?
But how the situation has changed in a single year! Upon taking office, President Trump reversed the course of his policies and threw away all US victory cards. Today their economy is faltering, inflation is at an all-time high, they are re-importing precious oil, and President Biden is considered weak, inefficient and unpopular.
Vladimir Putin missed this unexpected opportunity last year. Now he is ready to realize his decades-long goal: the restoration of the Russian Empire. In the end, Putin wants to bring Ukraine back under Moscow’s historic control. At the very least, he prevents Ukraine from deepening economic ties with the West and joining NATO, thinking that Ukraine would eventually fall into their hands.