Today, imperialism exists largely in the economic sense. US oil interests continue to control a great deal of Iraqi policy. The US has worked very hard to ensure that governments friendly to US interests rule in Iraq. This has led to battles between factions who seek to govern Iraq in the name of the Iraqi people. US oil interests have done little to improve the lives of the Iraqi people; many of them continue to live in extreme poverty and social unrest.
Russia has also expanded its own imperialistic goals through constant low-level war with Ukraine. Though many countries have not recognized this takeover, Russia annexed Crimea through a controversial referendum. Russia has also funded separatist groups in the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine, thus placing the citizens of Lugansk and Donetsk in harm's way. Russia claims to have little to do with these efforts. Furthermore, they claim that Eastern Ukraine desires to be reunited with Russia. This is controversial, however, since much of the evidence collected at battle sites shows that Russia is the main backer of the separatist movement. Ukraine used to be part of the Russian Empire and was under Soviet rule during the Cold War. The war in Eastern Ukraine marks the worst period of Russian-Ukrainian relations since Ukraine's founding in 1991.
Today, many countries such as the United States resort to economic imperialism in order to accomplish their goals. Though the developing nation being influenced or strong-armed is able to nominally retain its sovereignty, it is at the mercy of an economic superpower. Even the claim that Russia is imperialistic is controversial since some would argue that Eastern Ukraine is exercising its democratic free will by fighting against the government in Kiev. In order to avoid full-scale conflict and condemnation, many countries avoid outright imperialistic policies today.