After a fine start to 2014 for Russia with the Sochi Olympics, things quickly went rather bad. A collapsing oil price and Western sanctions after the annexation of Crimea crippled the ruble; a crisis in December left the currency’s value almost halved. Amid growing anxiety about Moscow's intentions among its Central Asian neighbors, Russia is facing possibly its deepest economic crisis since 1998. Relations with Europe and the U.S. are worse than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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