It is a very strange world we live in currently. With simultaneously 3 major crises' in the world and yet the majority of its people looking to Brazil and the World Cup.
The Crisis is Iraq is perhaps the most immediately serious as we all now have seen the full horror of Jihadism and the terror and destruction that it can wrought. Next would be Ukraine and thirdly would be the South China Sea crisis.
Unluckily for the West, the current leadership is not competent to manage foreign strategic engagements having made such a hash of it for many years, the appetite and ability is weak.
So step forward the more focused Russian's. Putin must think all his Christmas' have come at once. The Ukraine is on its knees and with a subtle but effective piece of arming the militia's the Country is set to be de-stabilised enough to be played with at whim by the Russians. Yet also the Iraq issue has forced up the price of oil, critical to Russia's budgeting and also distracted the West. China meanwhile can carry on its aggressive assertism in the South China Sea and again the US is too distracted to really seek to control the situation.
With all this at play, Russia has decided to end any credit to the Ukraine and force gas sales for cash payments only. There are lots of made up excuses as to why this has come about, but the net effect is to put further pressure on the Ukrainian Government and its short-term finances. It is not really a bold move, but will further trouble an already troubled Country.
All three of these areas are massive, resource rich zones - in a world where resource rich zones are being less frequent. There is no chance of an easy ending to any of these conflicts and yet the West's response is a confused mess of nothing-at-all-ness. Long gone are the days of hegemony and empire is this 21st Century.