We Americans are probably in the early parts of the Fourth Turning as Strauss and Howe explained it. As a crisis period is 15-25 years, we are still in the early stages. I have wondered before if the massive injection of Mexicans into America in this cycle changes their theory, but we will see if that accelerates or decelerates things. This cycle's economic keystone has been the economic and military might of the US based on guns and the dollar. Now that the dollar system has faced its first core shock to the system and the empire is overstretched and bloodied, challengers see its weakness. The Russians now have a pitch for their non-dollar alternative to others, "Let's set up an anti-dollar alliance to end US aggression".
The Russians and Chinese have slowly been building the infrastructure for a non-dollar system as well as amassing gold. The tough thing is selling this system to others. Couching it in terms immediately for an end to the Ukrainian problem, which anyone in the know started the moment the Ukrainians wanted to sign one deal with the Russians, allows it to frame the Russians and unaligned nations as victims of US foreign policy aggression. This is a pretty easy sell to a world that has seen the US move from missionaries a century ago to airborne robots that bomb supposed targets today. It can also be an easy sell to big players in the dollar recycling system like the Saudis.
Unreported by big US media as Secretary of State John Kerry flew around the Middle East being rebuffed and insulted, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss the Middle East. The Saudis asked Bandar to step down recently, and this rapprochement between Russia and the Saudis feels light years away from Bandar's threats to Putin last summer. To be a fly on the wall for Lavrov's visit. This is after al-Faisal visited Sochi on June 3rd to meet with Lavrov and Putin. The Saudis spoke of a need to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria and the integrity of Iraq as a peoples. The Saudis could be more concerned with their regime stability now and do not trust the US. They are not a homogenous nation and witnessed what the US did with the Arab Spring. The Russians (and Chinese) might be able to offer the type of security the regime wants. Keep in mind the Saudis sent billions to the Egyptian military junta and the Russians are making friendly with them while the US still chastises the military leaders for being harsh with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Saudis have disgusting traits and behaviors on the global stage, just like the Iranians and just like the Israelis. From their point of view, the US leviathan has to look like a drunken, steroid enhanced teenager between Ukrainian forays, the Libyan mess, Syrian debacle and now Iraq, all in a period of antagonizing Iran but negotiating with Iran. Some of this is aligned with Saudi interests, so how does it look to nations outside the Middle East? The Russians can discuss an anti-dollar alliance to stop aggression and know nations will be receptive. Aleksandr Dugin's description of the West's imperial forays and behavior as the "kingdom of the Antichrist" has appeal to religious nations. The Chinese calling for respect of different forms of government for different nations has appeal compared to the one system fits all democracy + progressive buffet message of America. These are small steps and clear signals to the non-Western nations who make up the resource pits of the American empire. Empires do not end in a day, and the American one is no different.