Putin wants to squeeze Europe by weaponizing energy.
Mild weather, a wider array of suppliers and efforts to reduce demand are helping, with gas reserves still nearly full. Europe is likely to be through the worst of the crisis after the recent turn around.
The combination of conditions would take the edge off inflation, stabilizing Europe's economic outlook and leaving the Kremlin with less leverage over Ukraine's allies if they persist.
Europe can make it through this winter and next despite the possibility of a cold snap.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a key architect of the country's response to the energy crisis, said that the danger of a complete economic meltdown has been averted.
The crisis, triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has already cost Europe close to $1 trillion. Billions of dollars in aid have been given to companies and consumers to absorb the blow. They tried to get rid of their dependence on Russian energy.
Coal and crude oil from Russia are no longer being imported by the EU. The bloc has been able to fill some of the gap by increasing supplies from Norway and other countries.
When Russia had already emptied its facilities, Germany's storage facilities were about half full. The Chancellor has spent billions of dollars filling reserves after nationalizing the local units of Gazprom.
The cushion has been preserved by energy-saving measures from industry and households as well as the warm January temperatures.
Klaus Muller, head of Germany's network regulators, said in an interview with ARD that they are very optimistic. The more gas we have in storage at the start of the year, the less stress and cost we will face in filling them again for next winter.
The silver lining of the weak economy is that gas usage is still declining despite the fact that gas prices have fallen a fifth of all time. Morgan Stanley said in a report that European consumption is expected to be below average throughout the next five years.
Germany is telling citizens to keep saving energy.
Favorable conditions are helping. Increased wind and solar generation will help slash gas-fired power generation in 10 of Europe's largest power markets by 39% this year.
Morgan Stanley says that there is now too much gas arriving. In December, deliveries set a new record.
Germany, which used to be the biggest buyer of Russian gas, is opening three terminals this winter and expects its new facilities to cover a third of its requirements. Non-Russian sources are likely to keep market prices stable.
Germany opens a terminal to replace Russian gas.
Giacomo Masato, lead analyst and senior meteorologist at Italy-based energy company Illumia SpA, said that the filling up of Europe's storage sites has created a buffer for prices. As the region had more supplies, the expectations changed.
After this winter, refilling reserves may be less dramatic. Storage sites are expected to be half full if the weather stays mild. It would be more than last year's levels.
Prices are higher than historical averages despite the positive developments. Russian gas imports this year will be just a fifth of normal, and the Kremlin could cut them in half.
Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a researcher at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy, said that it was a huge reduction for a market that was consuming 400 bcm in 2011.
Europe will need to remain alert because it will be critical to securing enough supplies of Liquefied Natural Gas. Competition will be tight until more capacity becomes available in the future. One of Europe's top three suppliers of super-chilled fuel is Russia.
Euro-Zone inflation has a sharp drop mask.
The lack of demand for heating so far this winter is due to the climate crisis and the recent cold weather in the US may be related to that. Storage sites can be deplete to 20% capacity if the temperatures stay cold for a long period of time.
Solid electricity supply from wind, nuclear and hydro generators, stable LNG flows and continued energy savings are some of the factors that need to be aligned in order to ensure a smooth summer.
Europe might be in a better position than previously thought, but it's not out of the woods yet, according to wood mackenzie.
Anna Shiryaevskaya, Todd Gillespie, Petra Sorge, and Iain Rogers worked on the project.