Putin outmanoeuvred Obama by not responding in any way on the visible retaliation of expelling 35 Russian diplomats out of the USA. No, Putin even invited American diplomats and their children to enjoy christmas on the Kremlin. Absolutely a nice spin and it’s not the first time Putin proofs his wits. Also on international level Putin has proven to be an adequate ally and diplomat. Backed up by Russia, Assad’s victory over Aleppo can be seen as the accumulation of Russian effort in being a major player in world affairs again.
Not new is the news of Russian cyber attacks on government servers, months ago proof started to mount up that Russia was interfering in US domestic politics. A few hours ago all major American spy agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA,) have publicly confirmed Putin has ordered a campaign of influencing the US election in favour of Trump (picture). The Dailymail put it this way:”America’s spy chiefs tell Trump face to face” that Putin ordered to hack the election. In the end Trump’s frequent suggestions about rigged election are not off too far 😉
Still, so far we have only seen a visible response. Obama has only days left to unfold his last moves as President of the United States, so an invisible response is likely to have occurred already. A counter cyber attack with as target personal and financial information of Putin and his network would be a possibility. We will find out eventually and counting on American retaliation policies my guess is that it could play an important factor in an eventual downfall of Putin, or at the least it will hurt him. For the direct future, the relation between the two superpowers will not deter much. Trumps tweets saying Putin to be very smart in his neutrality on Obama’s retaliation suggests better US-Russia relations to come.