“The very word ‘Putin’ has come to symbolize a coherent, systematic destruction of the post-Cold War international order. But no one I spoke with who had an intimate knowledge of Russia saw that as anything but fiction. Instead, they talked about Russia’s strides back onto the world stage as improvised reactions, tactics, gambles that were at times more worrisome than masterful.” Sarah A. Topol in the NYT Magazine: What Does Putin Really Want?