While there are numerous concerns and frustrations, the Kremlin appears to be going into 2018 relatively happy with its geopolitical situation.
The Czech president will be hoping that his non-campaign has been well pitched enough to rally his core support among poorer, older, less well-educated Czechs.
Bulgaria is doubling down on organised crime and corruption, but the problem could embarrass the government during its EU Presidency.
The big question is whether conditions for a sustained asset valuation rally in the second half and into 2019 can be put in place before the World Cup final whistle.
The Russian president wants voters to believe that the world is too dangerous, the opposition too flaky, and the job too tedious and complex to contemplate any alternative.