We’ve learned, and/or remembered a lot in a year. Remember “spheres of influence”? They were supposed to be a thing of the past despite Russia and others offering examples that they’re not. In March last year EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed that “Putin is trying to turn back the clock to another era – an era of brutal force, of power politics, of spheres of influence”. Perhaps she meant the era of Russia invading Georgia (2008)? Or Russian annexing Crimea (2014)? Or China pushing its claims in the South China Sea, or Turkey’s “Blue Homeland” theories, etc.