Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev issued a warning in the early part of the year that the world was “on the brink of a new cold war”. Since then we have had the Russian annexation of the Crimea, civil war in Ukraine, Western sanctions, the free-fall of the Ruble and the contraction of the Russian economy. Is this a conflict with global implications? Apart from the 40 recorded close military encounters between Russia and the West said to be at cold war levels throughout the year, we also had the downing of MH17, which brought back this seemingly distant conflict too close to home.
Annabelle Lee contributed to this report.