All the World's His Stage

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IN COMMAND: Putin isn't content for Russia to be a supplicant

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a judo champion in his youth, is now building up his political muscles. He flexed them ostentatiously in his annual address to Russia's Federal Assembly on April 26, grabbing headlines with his threat to reconsider his country's adhesion to the treaty on conventional forces in Europe. Signed by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, the treaty committed the U.S.S.R, and later the Russian Federation, to reducing its military deployment in its European territories. Given that this deal was one of the landmark indications that the cold war was over, why would Putin want to provoke the West by threatening...

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