In post-8/8 (Beijing Olympics) period, the New World Order is in the making with resurgent Russia flexing its muscles and increasingly receding imperial US power bent on dictating its terms to 'the rest'. It is sobering for the US to realise that the rules of the game have changed and the news of reverting to Cold War politics are doing the rounds. Russia was given treatment that was meted out to vanquished Germany in 1919. Kissinger has rightly said, "Great powers do not withdraw permanently, they rather stage a comeback." During the decade of 90's US did Russia an injustice by giving two hoots to the latter's interests and sensitivities. Russia got riled up in 1999 when NATO intervened in Serbia but then felt hard up for resources to assert its stance. The recognition of Kosovo was a red rag to Russia. The surge in oil and gas prices helped Russia to retrieve financially and Putin capitalised the situation to regain the lost glory and prestige for his country. On August 8 Russia by sending its troops to Georgia, checkmated US move to make Russia lose another pawn on the world chessboard. The US wants Georgia's entry into NATO as an inroad into Russian sphere of influence. German Chancellor Merkel continues harping on the theme that such a move would not be in the best interests of the alliance. The thorny issues underlying Russia-West relations include, inter alia, the NATO expansion and the US missile defence programme in Europe. The harsh reality is that the European countries are largely dependent on Russia for gas supply. The pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan via Georgia circumventing Russia has become vulnerable in the wake of the Georgian conflict. Russia has raised the ante by recognising the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But Europe is divided on the issue of policy towards Russia and therefore the member states of the EU could not agree on stringent economic sanctions against Russia in an emergency meeting. Russia has warned to sever its ties with NATO if Georgia is granted MAP (Membership Action Plan) status. Russia has socked it to the nation that her strategic interests cannot be ignored anymore. The US presidential candidate McCain has even suggested the expulsion of Russia from WTO talks. But he has missed the point that ground realities point in the opposite direction. The isolation of Russia on the global front will not yield any productive result rather it would boomerang injuring the West's interests. The future political and security orientation of Ukraine too is of great significance in EU-Russia ties. Russia has made no secret of its disdain for the pro-western government of President Yushchenko. The military action in Georgia has provoked dissensions in Kiev. The impetuous decision of Ukraine's integration in NATO will put kibosh on Russia's plans of forming Slavic Union and thus will have long-term repercussions on the peace in Caucasian region. However, Putin's interests remain not confined to the Caucasian region but he is also hankering for increasing his clout in Central Asia. The US must realise the error of its policies and move towards recognising and accommodating Russia's genuine, legitimate interests. The diminishing US influence is also characterised by the defiance of Latin American countries. Preparations are being made to carry out Russia-Venezuela joint naval exercises in the Caribbean. It is a reaction against American efforts to encircle Russia by courting allies in her neighbourhood. This rapidly changing scenario has another lesson that geography is more important than ideology. Communism has gone but the authoritarian-capitalist Russia wants to keep former satellite states under her influence. Against the backdrop of the changing realities, it has become crystal clear that Russia henceforth is not ready to give US her head in global politics. Putin has headed-off efforts to establish US hegemony in Russia's backyard. Needless to say, the time has come when US must come to grips with its shrinking capabilities. The writer is a law student