Russian foreign policy: It's no Cold War, but Vladimir Putin relishes his role as disrupter - NYT

18:04 Aug. 18, 2016

It's no Cold War, but Vladimir Putin relishes his role as disrupter - NYT

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. President Barack Obama, rear, attend the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP photo)

The behavior of Russia in the last few weeks has echoes of some of the uglier moments of the Cold War, an era of proxy battles that ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union

Escalating airstrikes in Syria. Sophisticated cyberattacks, apparently intended to influence the American election. New evidence of complicity in shooting down a civilian airliner.

The behavior of Russia in the last few weeks has echoes of some of the uglier moments of the Cold War, an era of proxy battles that ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Read more UN head: Putin-Assad deeds – war crimes, worse than slaughterhouse

President Obama, fresh from a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin this month, wondered aloud whether the Russian leader was content living with a "constant, low-grade conflict." His reference was to Ukraine, but he could have been addressing any of the arenas where Mr. Putin has revealed in his new role as the great disrupter of American plans around the globe.

Read more Putin's regime now has all signs of fascism – expert

"It seems to me we have Mr. Putin's answer," said Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of a coming book, "A World in Disarray." "He's answered in the affirmative. Low-grade conflict is his thing. And the question is how directly or indirectly we introduce costs."

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