“Is Putin Winning, or Is He Trying not to Lose?”, Sven Biscop (Egmont, Belgium)

Nobody is in doubt, if anybody ever was, that Russia remains a great power. That much the tense stand-off over Ukraine has demonstrated. Whether President Putin’s moves have earned Russia the respect that seems to be a strategic objective in its own right, is another thing. To provoke fear is easy enough – respect must be earned. But perhaps, like Machiavelli, Putin judges it is better to be feared than to be loved.

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