You may have noticed in the news today that Russia's currency is crumbling into tiny, useless bits before our very eyes. How will evil strongman Vladimir Putin respond? Probably by doing some crazy shit.
Plummeting oil prices are starving Russia of revenue, and Western sanctions are hurting them too, and the traders and financiers are going crazy, and last night's last-ditch drastic attempt by the Russian government to shore up the currency did not work. Russians are running around today trying to buy anything they can before their money becomes increasingly worthless. Companies have even stopped selling goods in Russia because the prices are changing too fast. The word on the economic street is: Doom, for Russia's currency!
Now Putin faces a thoroughly fucked economy, and few real ways to pull himself out of it. He's built a system of power atop a river of oil, and it's hard to change that very fast. Sure, he could go crawling on his knees back to the Western nations that instituted all those sanctions and tell them that he's willing to do what they want. But does that sound like the bare-chested nationalist Putin that you know? Not at all. It's not his way. And with normal economic maneuvers almost exhausted, you know Putin is bound to be considering some crazy shit.
How do you distract a fucked nation from intractable economic troubles? By fucking with somebody else.
All this Russian turmoil hasn't hurt the U.S. a bit. And as a little cherry on top today, as Russia's money was all going up in vapor, Obama announced that he will sign a bill imposing more sanctions on the country, for that whole "invading the Ukraine" business.
You know Putin is so mad. Not just mad, but astute.
So what crazy shit might Russia do next?
Double down on the Ukraine war?
Start a war with another weak neighbor?
Provoke the West with insane military maneuvers?
Have another revolution?
I sure don't know, but I tell you this: If I were a betting man—and I am—I would bet on Russia doing some crazy shit, real soon. (If that was one of the options for wagering, which it's not, which is outrageous.)