The Russian financial situation is heading south again - and fast.
Crude oil prices of less than $30 a barrel are bad enough, but Russia can't even fetch that. The country's "sour" high-sulfur export blend, Urals Export Blend Crude (UEBC), is trading at $26 a barrel - or less. Natural gas is faring even worse.
The fact is, Russia is dependent on oil and natural gas exports to buoy its unwieldy central budget. So the world's largest country is in trouble, and serious trouble if it can't find a way out.
There is a way out, though there's only one option, and it's far from certain whether Putin can make it happen.