Putin’s Soviet Throwback: Build More Nukes, Blame the West

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On March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted of new nuclear-capable weapons that could overcome any U.S. missile defenses, in a feisty pre-election “state-of-the-nation” speech. He presented Russian military force as a “guarantor of peace on our planet,” and also made some over-the-top economic and social promises, just 17 days before Russia’s March 18 poll, where Putin will seek a fourth term in an electoral contest that has already seen a major challenger excluded.

We asked our experts to comment on Putin’s speech. Comments are adapted below for print.

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Categorized as:International