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After Testing the World’s Limits, Putin Steps Again From the Brink

On Thursday, Mr. Putin’s protection minister introduced a partial pullback of troops, a step welcomed by Ukraine’s president in a nervous Kyiv. Mr. Putin held out an olive department to President Biden by showing at his on-line local weather summit. And on Friday, Mr. Navalny stated his starvation strike demanding higher medical care had “achieved sufficient” after he was examined twice by civilian docs.

“Regardless of how a lot the system tries to point out itself to be a deaf-mute, thousand-ton monolith, it in actual fact continues to react to stress from inside and out of doors,” a high aide to Mr. Navalny, Leonid Volkov, posted on Twitter.

In Mr. Medvedev’s article decoding the week’s occasions revealed on Friday morning, he in contrast the present state of world affairs to the Cuban Missile Disaster of 1962, when america and the Soviet Union got here to the brink of nuclear struggle. The issue at present, not like the unique Chilly Conflict struggle, he wrote, was that america now not revered Russia’s energy.

“If the results of victory are so nice that they put in query the continued existence of the victor, then this isn’t a victory,” Mr. Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Mr. Putin’s Safety Council, wrote in a not-so-veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

A danger of Mr. Putin’s escalatory method to overseas coverage is that he could have to up the ante to realize the specified impact. That was the case with Russia’s troop buildup close to Ukraine. Whereas the struggle in jap Ukraine has lasted since 2014, with Moscow sending arms and males to the separatists it backs, the Kremlin had not because the outset of hostilities threatened as explicitly to overtly invade Ukraine because it did in current weeks.

Mr. Pavlovsky, who suggested the Kremlin till 2011, compares Mr. Putin’s system to a ratchet: a mechanism that, even with occasional pauses, can solely flip in a single course.

“When the system is all constructed on the precept of escalation, it can’t pull again in earnest,” he stated.

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