FORBES | It was just in the beginning of March when Vladimir Putin’s Russia seemed to be at the top of its geopolitical and public relations game. While most of Europe and the United States were dealing with a severe outbreak of COVID-19, Russia’s state media was actively engaged in downplaying the virus. The Kremlin was sending medical supplies to the United States and preparing for the grand military parade in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Furthermore, some believed that Russia’s oil price war against Saudi Arabia and U.S. shale was proving successful and would grant it greater leverage in the global crude market.
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