It's time to bury the expectation that Russia's economy will fall apart under pressure from falling oil prices and Western sanctions, and that Russians, angered by a drop in their living standards, will rise up and sweep President Vladimir Putin out of office.
The decision by Russia's Central Bank to practically double interest rates in the middle of the night is a bad sign. The question now is how President Vladimir Putin will double-down to get Russia through a perfect economic storm.
All the colonial empires of the 20th century have given way to young nation-states and to a new kind of relations between a capital and its former colonies, yet official Russia goes on shedding tears about its disintegrated empire.
The Kremlin's dismay at the scale and longevity of protests in Moscow and other cities, following the fraudulent election in December 2011, is forcing Putin to find new ways to shore up his presidency.