From the American point of view, there are several bad guys on the world’s stage that we need to keep an eye on.
Leaders such as Kim Jong Un and the Saudi crown prince may be the most dastardly, but they don’t really have the sort of push-comes-to-shove firepower that worries a nation with the military might of the United States.
No, those concerns are reserved for adversaries such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who this week delivered an alarming warning to those who could try to curtail his naked expansionism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual State of the Nation speech, warned on Wednesday against provoking his country, promising a swift retaliation against anyone who crossed “red lines.“
Moscow will respond “harshly,” “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of Russia’s top officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” no foreign actor would cross Russia’s “red lines,” according to a Reuters translation.
Putin also touted the country’s planned investment in expanded military education, hypersonic weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles — while insisting simultaneously that Russia wants peace and arms control agreements.
The remarks come amid growing animosity between the White House and the Kremlin, with the former having several times warned the latter about what appears to be Russia’s imminent invasion of Ukraine.