“Wily, masked, determined and manipulative.”
That’s how Angela Stent, a former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia, and author of Putin's World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest, sums up Vladimir Putin.
He could hold his own at the World Series of Poker.
Because Putin and so many around him come from the KGB and other Soviet-era security organs, Stent said, they’re experts at obfuscation and deflection, making it hard to discern what’s really going on inside Russia—or Ukraine. Since Putin prides himself on being unpredictable, outcomes that now appear inevitable may not be.
As Europe teeters on the brink of its first ground war since the Nazi defeat in 1945, Putin’s ultimate tactical goal remains a mystery to the West. For clues on his game plan, listen here, or wherever you get your podcasts.