As with everything else these days, America and the West continue to recede in strength and power.
The latest test to US hegemony is not China, but rather Putin’s push into Ukraine. What started as a proxy war a few years ago looks set on expanding to a direct conflict, which wouldn’t be much of a conflict if Putin decides to invade Ukraine. Keep in mind, Ukraine is not small and for Putin any invasion has only one purpose – to control the Eastern regions bordering Russia.
Putin has always seen his role in Russian history as a sort of savior of Russian culture and global power. His mission to restore the territory of the former Soviet Empire either directly or indirectly is key to understanding his motives.
Up until the USA has always been a bulwark against Russia’s expansionism, yet under the Biden administration, America appears poised to go on a long retreat.
Putin understands that Western Europe needs Russian gas and so they too will have no power to stop him.
So will there be a Ukraine at the end of the day? Sort of. The East will be brought into greater Russia (it in fact is already through economic ties) and the West, which is connected Poland and the EU will be a vassal of NATO.