He prepared for a standoff with the West. President Vladimir Putin has built up his country’s foreign currency reserves to the tune of over $640 billion to insulate the Russian economy. It was a solid plan until the US, EU and global partners announced stinging sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. This includes a plan to ban some Russian banks from SWIFT — a global network for payments between banks — as well as sanctioning Russia’s central bank, which will make it hard for the Kremlin to tap into some of the reserves needed to prop up the crashing rouble. We take a look at Russia’s forex war chest since Putin came to power in 2000.