We are no fans of Russian aggression here, but sadly do recognise that Putin is better at Realpolitik than the West.
As Russia sells ever more gas to China, it is starting to turn the taps down substantially to Europe. Italy, Poland and Germany will be the main victims. As a result, the German President of the EU, Ursula Van de Leyen, has demanded all EU countries reduce gas consumption by 15%.
This has not gone unnoticed by Spain and others that are not reliant on Russian gas. Germany is also closing its nuclear power stations and burning more coal to reduce its reliance on gas. There is little appetite to tag along to German needs.
Putin is showing again how the virtue signalling of Western governments is so contradictory to their needs. The West is going to find it very hard to stay united this coming winter. The US is not keen on riding to the rescue, either, due to its own inflationary problems, even though there is plenty of gas for export.
Sad to admit that Russia has the upper hand in geopolitics at the moment, but they planned this for a long time and are executing this well, even if the war in Ukraine is much harder than they anticipated.