Russians also remember that their country once dominated a sixth of the earth’s landmass and stood as a global player second to none. That is the role Putin seeks to regain—and he seems prepared for the consequences.
“Let’s not forget the lessons of history,” he said in a speech at the end of October. “A change in the world order—and this is the magnitude of events we are witnessing today—usually comes with a global war, a global confrontation or at least a chain of intense local conflicts.”
2014 was the year that Vladimir Putin told the West to ‘bring it on’.
In 2015 we’ll see how this throwdown challenge plays out.