Russia: Sound, fury, but not much clout

As featured in The Hindu



Russia has gained diplomatic influence at the cost of goodwill and growth, while enmeshing itself in several open-ended wars. But whether or not one judges this trade-off to have been worthwhile, there is a deeper point: influence demands investment. Russia has created power only where it has been able to change facts on the ground, usually by force of arms, and only where larger, richer, and more cohesive Western forces have dithered or abstained.