During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union plunged into Third World nations, offering all sorts of benefits for alignment.
Scholarships, Aid, products, etc.
The competition between the two benefited citizens of those ‘invaded’ nations.
When the Cold War ended, when the Soviet Union fell apart, the Russian did not continue their penetration. They backed off and let the United States push into every nook and cranny.
They had diplomatic and economic involvements, but beyond a few nations, they were absent.
The United States, however, kept plunging into countries as if in some competition.