The Sea of Azov skirmish bolsters Putin at home while delivering a masterclass in despotism to any watching dictators
We’re often told that the reason the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is so dangerous is that he is a brilliant political chess master, always thinking several moves ahead. Yet there is reason to believe that the real reason Putin is so dangerous is that he is no chess master at all. His latest skirmish with Ukraine, this time in the Sea of Azov, is certainly evidence that for Russia, chaos reigns. Having previously illegally annexed Crimea and launched a bloody shadow war in the east of Ukraine – both in 2014, a busy year for Russian aggression – Russia has only now officially acknowledged opening fire on Ukrainian forces.