Vladimir Putin may not have long to wait for the first major test of his attempt to claim a large section of eastern Ukraine as his own. While the Kremlin plans a ceremony marking the results of sham votes held by Moscow-aligned rebels, Kyiv’s forces are threatening to encircle a pocket of the region Russia set out to occupy, including a key transport hub that could further facilitate the repulsion of Russian soldiers. It would also force Putin to decide whether to follow through on his Sept. 21 threat to use all means to protect Russian territory, and whether that threat includes newly claimed Ukrainian territory.
The US dollar is steamrolling everything right now, causing issues for economies almost everywhere but America. That means that, for now at least, it’s not a US problem and the historic central-bank-fueled surge in the greenback is unlikely to abate anytime soon. By some measures, the US currency is already stronger than ever, eclipsing the highs of the early pandemic. The pain it’s inflicting has echoes of the mid-1980s, when foreign exchange chaos forced the world’s most important finance officials to impose a solution on markets. But right now, as far as America is concerned, it’s every country for itself.