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US sizes up newly belligerent Putin

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 20, 2014The United States and its allies had hoped for a partner in Vladimir Putin — albeit an acerbic and capricious one. But his incorporation of Crimea, in defiance of the West, and a speech scorching the post Cold War world order, suggest an adversary now rules the Kremlin. As a result, President Barack Obama and European counterparts are facing accusations they were taken in by the Russian president and did not spot the expansionist reflex of a man who saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as a tragedy. But within months of Putin returning as president two years ago, it was clear the reset would wither without his co-sponsor, ex-president Dmitry Medvedev.

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