Russia wants to detract from problems at home and position itself as a superpower, and Nato troop movements can only help…
None of this means Europe is on the brink of an imminent east-west conflict. Or – as Donald Trump and some commentators have suggested apocalyptically – that the world is gearing up for a third world war. It isn’t. Speaking at a conference in Sochi on Thursday, Putin agreed. He told a group of western experts that it was “stupid and unrealistic” to think Russia might attack anyone in Europe.
Despite the cold war atmospherics, then, there’s little prospect of Russian tanks rolling across the border into the Baltic states anytime soon.
Rather, Russia’s latest sabre-rattling is part of a hybrid Kremlin strategy. Abroad, the goal is to project Russian military power and strength – “willy-waving” in the words of one analyst. Since Putin became president in 2000, he has been determined to restore Moscow’s superpower status, with Russia as a global co-equal of US “hegemony”.Läs artikel