What Americans Don’t Get About Putin
The staging of the Sochi Games reflects something deeper about Russian behavior.
By GREGORY FEIFER February 12, 2014
Two decades after the Soviet collapse, the Russians think they’re finally winning the Cold War. At least that’s what you might conclude from the diplomatic jousting surrounding the Sochi Olympic Games, which is a metaphor for U.S.-Russia relations.
Case in point: the recent leaking of a taped, F-bomb-laden conversation apparently between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the American ambassador to Ukraine, which shows the KGB’s successors—if that’s who did it, as commonly believed—are following the old textbook. This time around, however, it appears to be working far better than the Kremlin’s cold warriors could have dreamed.
Moscow has accused Washington of scheming to overthrow Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s democratically elected president. The Nuland recording appeared to provide proof, complete with a detailed discussion of exactly who among the opposition leaders should replace him. Releasing the recording just before the start of the Olympic Games enabled Russian President Vladimir Putin to bask in the full glory of the world’s acclaim during his main act: the lavish opening ceremony. It had the added benefit of driving another wedge between the United States and Europe, another Russian objective.
(photo via DonkeyHotey)