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Western Leaders and Vladimir Putin during the 39th G8 summit

Cold War II, also known as the Second Cold War or the New Cold War, is the renewed ongoing tensions, hostilities, and rivalry between the United States and European Union against the Russian Federation led by Vladimir Putin.[1]

The conflict follows 23 years after the first Cold War ended, which was fought between the United States and the Soviet Union and took place over much of the 20th century, finally ending in December 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.[2][3][4] These tensions have gradually escalated over the course of the 2010s, and by August 2014, relations between the United States, European Union, and Russia were claimed to have deteriorated to a point "beyond repair,"[5] with Russia attempting to counterbalance the West through the creation of a new trading bloc of former Soviet states.[6] Similar to the first Cold War, the crisis has revived the notion of the proxy war, most notably in Syria and in Donbass.

Although not strictly the beginning of the crisis, use of the term "Cold War II" and speculation over its appropriateness grew as tensions between Russia and the West escalated through the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the Russian involvement in the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, an action for which pro-Russian separatists were held responsible. By August 2014, both sides had implemented economic, financial, and diplomatic sanctions upon each other. Russia is temporarily suspended from the G8 following their annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March.[7] As such, the G8 summit originally planned to take place in Sochi, Russia earlier in June was cancelled; instead, an alternative G7 summit was held in Brussels, Belgium, courtesy of the European Union.


While there does not exist a precise date from when the Second Cold War emerged, its origins may be traced to the aftermath of the First Cold War. Following the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev on December 25, 1991, the Russian Federation rapidly entered a period of deep decline due to the sudden restructuring of the Russian economy. With the aim of transforming Russia from a control economy to a free market, on January 2, 1992, President Boris Yeltsin introduced a series of radical economic reforms, referred to as economic shock therapy, which included massive cuts to state spending and privatization of infrastructure. The early chaos of the new democratic era in Russia reached a climax on September 21, 1993 as President Boris Yeltsin's reforms (unofficially known as economic shock therapy) continued to be opposed by the legislative branch of the Russian government, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation. Following the rejection of proposed amendments to the Russian constitution, representatives of the Supreme Soviet and their supporters blockaded themselves inside the Russian White House, the parliament of Russia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Time: The West is losing Cold War II". July 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  2. ^ "US and Russia renew Cold War rivalry". America 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Managing the New Cold War". Foreign August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  4. ^ "In Russia, Crime Without Punishment". 24 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  5. ^ "No prospects for Russia-US relations in near future — lawmaker". ITAR-TASS News Agency. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  6. ^ "A brief primer on Vladimir Putin's Eurasian dream". The Guardian. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  7. ^ "U.S. and other powers kick Russia out of G8". 25 March 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.

Category:International relations Category:Russia–European Union relations Category:Russia–United States relations Category:Bilateral relations of Russia Category:Bilateral relations of the United States