We move on to discuss the 2000s, focussing on the Iraq War, colour revolutions, and NATO’s 2008 announcement that Ukraine and Georgia will become members. Putin rose to power in 1999–2000. Facilitated by rising oil and gas prices in world markets, Putin’s regime succeeded in reviving economic growth and stabilising society. During the brief cooperative spell of the early 2000s, there were discussions about Russia’s possible NATO membership. HP sees the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a key nodal point, whereas TF stresses the importance of local developments and identifies the Orange Revolution 2004–2005 as the turning point. Our interpretations of the colour revolutions differ somewhat (TF blaming Putin’s involvement, HP highlighting the inherent problems of the expansionary liberal projects). We agree, however, that it was a mistake in 2008 to declare that NATO would expand to Georgia and Ukraine. This declaration occurred simultaneously with the deepening of the global financial crisis in 2008–2009, which paved the way for regressive developments involving the rise of nationalist populism. Here we have also the first round of debate about “whataboutism”. TF accuses Russia of shifting blame onto others, whereas HP maintains that double standards tend to erode international rules and principles.