Category Archives: Military

NATO will never invade Russia – McFaul

NATO Meeting file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2015) Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said NATO is not planning to invade Russia and there is no need for the Russian leadership to deploy S-400 air defense systems on its Western borders. “NATO will never invade Russia,” he twitted on Sunday. The former ambassador said the Russian leadership is groundlessly concerned about […]

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Interfax: Russia to react “immediately” if NATO increases strength in Europe – source

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, June 26, 2015) By “slightly pushing” Russia by increasing the alliance’s military presence in Europe, the USA and NATO are waging a “game of nerves” for now, however should any practical steps be taken towards an escalation near Russia’s western border, Moscow will respond without delay, a source in the military and diplomatic circles has told Interfax-AVN. […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: U.S. to pre-position tanks, artillery in Baltics, eastern Europe

Ashton Carter File Photo

The United States will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central Europe, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved by Russian involvement in Ukraine.

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal/Edward Lucas: Buttressing the Front Line Against Putin. The U.S. must compel Nordic and Baltic states to put aside old prejudices and link arms against the Russian threat.

Europe Map

  Russia is waging a new cold war in the Baltic region, breaching international law and the conventions that govern civilized behavior among nations. The Kremlin provokes and intimidates its neighbors with aggressive espionage, corruption of political elites, propaganda onslaughts, cyberattacks, economic sanctions, coercive energy policies, surprise military exercises, and violations of airspace, territorial waters and even national borders, as […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post editorial: New arms race; The last time that the West got into an arms race with the Kremlin, the Soviet Union collapsed

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

So when we hear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will respond to the West’s improved NATO defenses on Russia’s border, our response is: Bring it on, peewee Stalin!

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NEWSWATCH Time Magazine: Russia Just Opened a Theme Park for Warmongers; There are army rations for lunch, and tanks and missiles to play with

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Time magazine reports on The Guardian reporting on Russia’s new “Patriot Park,” a military-focused theme park an hour outside Moscow. Want your child to learn how to use a grenade launcher? Now, they can at Putin’s ‘Patriot Park,’ a sort of Disneyland built to showcase Russian military prowess. Attractions include military rations for lunch and tanks and missiles to play […]

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NEWSWATCH: NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing in The Moscow Times, NYU professor Mark Galeotti comments on recent military exercises by NATO and Russia. Both Russia and the West continue to stage all kind of major military exercises and demonstrations, even while both accuse the other of provocation and aggressive intent. Are the drums of war beating? No, they’re not — but we need to understand […]

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NEWSLINK International New York Times/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer: Putin’s Risky Game of Chicken

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russian SU-24 fighter-bombers buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in international waters in the Black Sea late in May, just days after the Royal Air Force scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Bear bombers near British airspace. These dangerous Russian games of chicken are now regular occurrences and come hard upon a Russian threat in March to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships […]

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How the Soviet Union Wrecked Russia’s Military-Industrial Complex

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – June 11, 2015) While Russia’s tussle with Ukraine may seem an unfair match, Ukraine does have one simple advantage – it makes a number of important vehicles and components that Russia needs to equip its military. After Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year, Kiev brought its leverage to play and placed a […]

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Putin Is No James Bond Villain

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 9, 2015) Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign-language propaganda, all that President Vladimir Putin has achieved outside Russia is the status of a Bond movie villain. He may enjoy it, especially since there’s no 007 in sight to tackle him, but his variety of pop stardom is growing into […]

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Ukraine defending Europe, world order, says Yatsenyuk

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Interfax – June 9, 2015) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called for unity of the European Union and the United States needed “to defeat the aggressor.” He made the statement at a forum of the American Jewish Committee during a working visit to Washington DC, the Ukrainian government press service has reported. “We are positive that we can regain […]

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Putin: ‘We Have Never Viewed Europe as a Mistress’

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 8, 2015) President Vladimir Putin insisted that the West should not view Russia as a threat in an interview published Saturday in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of an official visit to Italy that kicks off this week. “I think that only an insane person – and only in a […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post: Poroshenko warns of ‘full-scale’ war, prods to speed up reforms

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Ukraine will stick to the Minsk II peace agreement, even though Russia might launch a “full-scale” invasion in the eastern Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said during an address to Parliament on June 4 almost a year after he came to power. He was inaugurated on June

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Interfax: OSCE SMM publishes special report on Wednesday fighting near Maryinka

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

KYIV. June 4 (Interfax) – The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/SMM) has published a separate report concerning the fighting that erupted near the town of Maryinka in the Donetsk region on Wednesday morning. Between 10:00 p.m. on June 2 and 5:30 a.m. on June 3, SMM observers working in the area controlled […]

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Russians against Kremlin spending money on Crimea or World Cup

putin-fifa-meeting

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – June 4, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-russians-against-kremlin-spending-money-crimea-or-world-cup] An overwhelming majority of Russians are against state money for health and education being redirected toward other areas of the economy, according to a recent poll by the Levada Center. In the wake of announcements that Russia’s revised 2015 budget will increase defence […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Sink or sell? Russia spat leaves France with warships to spare

Mistral Class Ship

Tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have blocked a deal in which Moscow was to buy the ships, leaving Paris trying to negotiate a face-saving compromise and work out CAwhat to do with two unwanted warships.

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Interfax: Russia air defence firm denies its MH17 claims based on fake satellite photos

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – June 2, 2015) The evidence presented by Russian air defence systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey to show that flight MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian missile was based only on preliminary data from the Dutch investigation, said Yan Novikov, the company’s general director, as reported by privately-owned Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN on 2 June. Novikov was commenting on […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Vladimir Putin Hides the Truth

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Last week Mr. Putin added a new and especially cruel twist to his formula of deception by decreeing that the deaths or wounds of Russian soldiers in “special operations” can be classified as military secrets, even in peacetime. In the past, the list of state secrets applied only to personnel losses in wartime.

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Fighting in Ukraine Eases, but Abuses Continue on Both Sides, U.N. Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Fighting in eastern Ukraine has eased recently, but at least 6,417 people have died in the conflict and abuses that may amount to war crimes continue to be committed by both sides, the United Nations said Monday.  

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Putin Classifying Troop Losses Proves They’re in Ukraine – Analysts

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 29, 2015) Legal amendments introduced Thursday that classify as state secrets any losses sustained during peacetime special operations are further confirmation of Russia’s direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, legal and military experts told The Moscow Times. The amendments, signed by President Vladimir Putin, make “information disclosing the loss of personnel […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: The Russians Are Coming, Again; Vladimir Putin violates another peace deal with Ukraine.

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

So much for February’s Ukraine cease-fire. Russian proxies on Saturday shelled Avdiyivka, a town in eastern Ukraine held by the Kiev government, killing a Ukrainian service member and a civilian in an attack that also shut down a coke-manufacturing plant. On Sunday pro-Kremlin forces fired on Ukrainian positions near the port of Mariupol, killing a Ukrainian soldier and wounding two.

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Russia Prepares for Possible New Summer Military Campaign in Eastern Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 95 – Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – April 21, 2015) Summer is the best time for major offensive military action in the Donbas region (Donetsk and Luhansk provinces) of eastern Ukraine. In the spring and autumn, long periods of bad weather turn unpaved roads and plains into a mud quagmire (Rasputitsa), […]

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NEWSLINK Euromaidan Press: Separatists in Donbas have more tanks than Germany, France, and Czech Republic combined

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The armed forces of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics” (“LNR” and “DNR”) have accumulated significant reserves of heavy weapons. According to deputy commander of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Col. Valentyn Fedychev, as of 8 April 2015 Russia’s hybrid army in Donbas has 700 tanks, over 1 100 ACVs, 600 artillery systems, and 380 MRLS, as reported by news.liga.net

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post: Alexei Bayer, America should teach Ukraine to wage a clandestine war

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

Where Ukraine really needs U.S. help is in the area of domestic security. In other words, it needs to fight the kind of war Russia has started – especially now, since the hot conflict in its eastern part has become stationary and the war is entering a clandestine phase.  

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NEWSLINK The Ecologist: Ukraine war leaves a long shadow of pollution, ill-health and ravaged industries

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Over a year after violent conflict began in East Ukraine, indications are emerging of its severe environmental impacts in the highly industrialised Donbas region, and the grave health risks to civilians that will endure long into the future. The area will need international assistance both to reduce the hazards, and to ‘green’ the region’s often polluting industries.

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Shoigu at 60: The Man Who Would Be Russia’s King?

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 22, 2015) Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a close ally, friend and rumored potential successor of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, turned 60 on Thursday. “A servant to the tsar, a father to soldiers,” political pundits say of Shoigu – one of the country’s longest-serving government officials – citing Mikhail […]

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Moscow Admits Two Fighters Captured in Ukraine Are Ex-Russian Soldiers

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 19, 2015) Russia’s Defense Ministry has identified two fighters captured in Ukraine as former servicemen in the Russian military – a concession that echoes rights advocates’ claims that Moscow has been discharging its soldiers from the army before sending them to fight alongside separatists in the Donbass. The fighters, Alexander Alexandrov […]

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Lose The Territory, Win The War

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – May 19, 2015) For more than year, there’s been a war in eastern Ukraine that nobody called a war. And for the past three months, there’s been a cease-fire there that wasn’t a cease-fire. And now that the agreement reached in Minsk in February that was supposed to end hostilities in the Donbas […]

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Russian Defence Ministry denies serving troops captured in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – May 18, 2015) The Russian Defence Ministry has rejected Ukrainian allegations that two men who were reportedly captured during fighting in eastern Ukraine are serving members of the Russian armed forces, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 18 May. Ministry spokesman Maj-Gen Igor Konashenkov admitted that the two men, who were detained by the Security Service of […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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McCain Nixes Pentagon Plan to Use More Russian Rocket Engines

John McCain at hearing; adapted from defense.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 15, 2015) The United States will not allow domestic space companies to use more Russian rocket engines despite requests from the Pentagon, news agency Reuters reported, citing a letter written by U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain. In a response to a letter from U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter […]

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NEWSLINK The Daily Signal: In New Role, US Army Prepares Ukrainians for Different Type of War

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

The sounds of gunfire and explosions are constant on the firing range at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center outside this western Ukrainian town. At one spot, behind an earthen bunker, U.S. Army paratroopers are qualifying Ukrainian National Guard soldiers in Soviet-era shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Further down the line, Ukrainian soldiers shoot at targets using different types of Kalashnikov […]

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Nemtsov Report Says More Than 200 Russian Soldiers Killed In Ukraine War

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 12, 2015) [Report here https://openrussia.org/] More than 200 Russian military personnel have been killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to a report based on research begun by slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. The estimated death toll is one of the main findings of the much-anticipated report on Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, which […]

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Putin’s Tanks Draw Cheers in Russian City Jammed Between NATO Nations

Kaliningrad Map, adapted and cropped from army.mil image with credit to Jim Kistler, USAWC

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – May 11, 2015) Tanks and ballistic missiles lumbered past thousands of spectators gathered in Kaliningrad on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, an historic triumph for Russia that the Kremlin has used to whip up a new nationalist fervor. “We need to show our enemies, who deem […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russian soldiers quit over Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin’s continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.

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NEWSLINK The Daily Signal: Two Weeks to Make a Soldier: A Ukrainian National Guard Unit Trains to ‘Fight to the Death’

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

At its training camp on the outskirts of Kyiv this past weekend, the Ukrainian National Guard Azov Regiment held its Spartan Test—a grueling three-hour rite of passage meant to test the mental and physical strength of both new recruits and battle-hardened veterans.

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NEWSLINK IHS Jane’s 360: SACEUR, analysts see Russia renewing invasion of Ukraine in next two months

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

A consensus is building among NATO officials and military analysts of the situation in Eastern Ukraine that Russia will renew its invasion of the region in the next two months. However, there is also general agreement that the attack would take only after the 9 May Victory Day celebrations in Moscow, which President Vladimir Putin regards as reaffirming Russia’s continued […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Battle Tested, Ukraine Troops Now Get U.S. Basic Training

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

The exercise, one of the most fundamental in the military handbook, came off without a hitch. A soldier carrying a length of rope and a grappling hook ran to within 20 feet or so of a coil of concertina wire and stopped.

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Building a fragile EM coalition

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 11, 2015) The May 9 victory parade on Red Square was a show of strength by Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and the West. But it was also a show of solidarity by some emerging markets that have sided, to a greater or lesser degree and with […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian army shells DPR territory – militia

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

DONETSK. May 8 (Interfax) – The Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic has registered 44 instances of shelling by Ukrainian government forces in the region in the past 24 hours, the Donetsk news agency reported. “Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian side has shelled the territory of the DPR 44 times. The adversary continues to use heavy […]

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The Indelible Mark of World War II on Modern Russia

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 7, 2015) Victory Day hits a raw nerve among Russians, likely owing to the fact that the vast majority of Russian families have been acutely impacted by World War II. President Vladimir Putin recently tapped into this widespread sentimentality with a rare act: he penned a family history, published in this […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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Russian ombudsman checks reports of servicemen being coerced to fight in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – Moscow, May 6, 2015) Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova has not confirmed reports of Russian servicemen’s presence on the territory of Ukraine. “Inquiries concerning each of the incidents mentioned in the press had been sent to military prosecutors of military districts and directly to the chief military prosecutor. It follows from the official replies received by the […]

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia may be readying for new Ukraine offensive – NATO commander

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Russia’s military may be taking advantage of a recent lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine to lay the groundwork for a new military offensive, NATO’s top commander told the U.S. Congress on Thursday. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the NATO supreme allied commander, said Russian forces had been seeking to “reset and reposition” while protecting battlefield gains, despite a […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs: Paper Tiger Putin; The Failure of Russia’s Anachronistic Antagonism

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not as strong as he might seem, or, more important, as he might hope. Although Russia supports fighters in Ukraine, invaded Georgia in 2008, sold missile systems to Iran, and recently threatened Denmark and Lithuania with nuclear war, it is, in reality, a muted and restrained power operating in a system that no longer supports […]

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