russia economy putin

Lately it feels like the Cold War never ended.

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to confront the West on multiple fronts, from Ukraine and Syria to cybersecurity.

The U.S. and its allies have responded with tough sanctions that exacerbated the impact of crashing oil prices on Russia's economy, which is now in deep recession, shrinking for three straight quarters.

Yet Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war only complicates tensions with the West. That point was illustrated by Turkey's shooting down a Russian warplane.

"Russia is going to be the preeminent geopolitical challenge for the U.S. and the West. It's going to be hard to contain its ambitions," said CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton, a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force.

First published November 26, 2015: 9:01 PM ET

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