On Thursday, President Obama affirmed that there would be no American boots on the ground in response to Russia's recently amped up aggression against Ukraine. The markets may being doing the work for him.
With Russian markets on a downswing already, Russian officials got some more bad news on Friday.
As the BBC points out, following meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier this week, meetings that failed yield a peace agreement, the markets responded:
The market may have found the talks "disappointing" and renewed its concern over sanctions, said Manik Narain, emerging market strategist at UBS.
A recent weak economic performance and the conflict with Ukraine have combined with Moscow's commitment to intervene less with the value of the rouble, said Mr Narain.
Presumably, even as the conflict paints Putin as the redeemer of Russian bravado, the Ukrainian crisis may erode the confidence among the very people he most hopes to inspire.
Ruble touches all-time low, below Crimea crisis levels. Good for Russia's energy exporters, bad for its consumers. http://t.co/GIjY3Dv2pU— William Mauldin (@willmauldin) August 29, 2014
The news was meet with some pushback:
I keep reading the ruble hit an "historic low" of 37 to the dollar today. Actually, it's been about 30 times weaker: http://t.co/twMfNM2Y1j— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) August 29, 2014
And it wasn't all good:
✓ Russia's ruble hits new low as tensions rise ✓ Ukraine's hryvnia also continues free fall http://t.co/N0cumOTVD6— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) August 29, 2014
Also, as Angus Roxburgh wrote in the Guardian, there is arguably a bit of a chicken-egg dynamic at play with regard to sanctions:
They may well succeed in ruining the Russian economy, but what will that bring? More of the same – or worse. It was the humiliation of Russia and impoverishment of its citizens in the 1990s that brought Putin to power in the first place.