Vladimir "Got Mine" Putin would like us all to know that Russia is not a threat to anyone. "We pose no threat to anyone and do not intend to get involved in any geopolitical games or intrigues, let alone conflicts, no matter who tries to draw us into them or how they do so." Comforting words from a man who was talking to his military chiefs on the shore of the Black Sea. Which is why he turned around with his next breath to say, "At the same time, it is indispensable to securely safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of Russia and the security of our allies." That one is just a little harder to parse. I checked out this whole "sovereignty" thing. It means "supreme power or authority." It could be that it's a tough translation from the original Russian: suverenitet. Should we take this guy at his word, that he doesn't want to be involved in geopolitical games, even though most of the past year has felt like a prolonged game of Risk in the Ukraine. Does this mean he's not interested in rolling again? Maybe he just expects the world to accept the geopolitical games that he has already played, and now we can sit back and accept his lack of intrigue, since it really wasn't that subtle in the first place: "Those guys aren't Russian soldiers. They may have been dressed like Russian soldiers, and speaking Russian, but they aren't Russian soldiers." And these aren't the droids we're looking for.
Subtlety from this guy would be something new anyway, if he's not hitting on China's first lady, or wrestling with bears, he's busy doing something manly or aggressive. Like turning a Siberian tiger loose on the unsuspecting goat herds of northeastern China. Keeping in mind, of course, that the tiger was a gift to China. Maybe it wasn't a Russian tiger at all. Just like in the Ukraine, there weren't a lot of witnesses left in the goat house to confirm. If only Vlad would stick to cribbage.