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When, on February 24th this year, Vladimir Putin gave the order to the Russian army to invade Ukraine, analysts spoke of a lightning war, given the enormous difference in military strength between the two countries. With the fifth month of military conflict having come to an end this Sunday, the situation has turned inside out like a sock and no one dares to make a definitive prognosis. One can only assess the enormous costs of all kinds that it is having, starting with the price in human lives - it is calculated that around 230 deaths occur every day - and the millions displaced to other countries, with the latest estimates speaking of 5.8 million refugees in other European countries and 6.3 million people internally displaced now living in other parts of Ukraine.

It is a war that has turned international relations upside down (Russia has become an enemy for Europe, and Sweden and Finland have applied to join NATO); it has caused an economic crisis of an unknown magnitude that has already alerted all countries, with a return to the 80s and 90s in terms of inflation; it has triggered an energy crisis due to the supply of Russian gas, with alarmist messages on a daily basis and the European Commission wanting to restrict heating and air conditioning use; and, finally, it has opened up a global food crisis with the blockade on Ukrainian grain exports, trapped in Black Sea ports. On this last question, an agreement has been reached with the help of the United Nations and Turkey and if it ends up being respected it will be great news.

There is no indication that we are at the end of the conflict, nor any guarantees that it might not get even worse. We are facing a war in which the long view must be taken and one whose evolution Europe is unfortunately watching without being a major player - while at the same time it is the continent most affected, as it has the greatest dependence on Russia. Putin shows no signs of rectifying; on the contrary, he seems thoroughly prepared for the long winter, without the international blockade imposed on Russia inflicting new and definitive disruption to his damaged economy.

In this context, the Spanish government has made a soft political landing in the crisis. Only very recently has the executive decided to face it and it has done so, in line with Pedro Sánchez's trademark style, via populist measures with more still pending, aimed at reversing the negative polls after the Socialists' embarrassing electoral defeat in Andalusia. The clearest example is the tax on banks and energy companies which, despite the rhetoric from the Moncloa palace, will almost certainly end up having an impact on the general public. Double-digit inflation is leaving millions of Spaniards without options for managing their shopping baskets and while the Spanish government thinks about holidays and tourism, many ordinary citizens are thinking about the purchasing power they have lost. That is the real mismatch between the political backrooms and the street.