My economy was in decline but I’d successfully bludgeoned my way into the position of President.

Through my career, I’d managed to understand the full capacity of a huge espionage and disinformation machinery and, outside of it, I’ve managed to become deeply important to the vast organised crime my country is built upon.

There is nothing and no one I cannot touch. Free rein.

My eyes are on expanding my borders, absorbing valuable resources to sell on, but standing against me is an old alliance, NATO, and a recently more active one – the EU, who court the countries on my own doorstep.

Standard military moves will be frowned upon, and the sanctions these allies maintain in place keep my economy under control so, I had to do something different.

Their weakness was an easy one to exploit.

Terrorism breeds in an environment where war causes mass migration, which also helps nurture the necessary extremism, so I engage in a conflict which creates the movement of people into my strategic targets. This means their security services are overstretched and focused on a single issue.

To generate just the right level of continued diversion, I invest in the xenophobes, the far-right parties and figures, making their message mainstream. This creates a perfect environment for more extremism – bringing the added bonus of a constant cycle of retaliation.

Now comes the managed chaos, because I’ve realised the power of what I’m doing. So I put my weight into exploiting the overstretch, and the rising popularity of the xenophobes I’ve set in action. I interfere directly in democratic elections, through hacking, through cyber attacks, through constant disinformation.

Within one year I topple two of the biggest members of NATO, but the EU proves harder to crack – my plans in the Dutch and French elections fail, and Germany is deploying active counter-measures.

The jig isn’t up though. The UK and the US are in my pocket, so I exploit them more, using terror attacks as an opportunity to leak information, driving a wedge between them and others. Reducing their intelligence co-operation and discrediting the US intelligence services who are on the verge of exposing my combined asset in the White House – the damage takes, even though the asset was also the source of the leaks.

This prompts a renewed call for more military intervention, which will drive the cycle of retaliation and improve the position of my far-right resources – who are now embedded in the mainstream of politics, where they can influence the electorates with a less direct intervention.

In earnest, my White House asset will set to the disruption of NATO, until it crumbles or becomes useless and then?

Well, then I will see what disjointed forces are left, what resources and intelligence co-operation they still have, and I will micro-target my actions, destabilising them further until I can step in and declare myself their saviour.

Or, take what I want with the minimum level of force.

They have no laws which can unpick my plan. No resources. No legislation. Every weakness in their defences has been exposed and used, and they no longer believe their own media.

This has all been too easy. The spies were looking for spies when they should have been looking for criminals. The old days of espionage are dead, like Latin.

I am Vladimir Putin, and I am winning.