Professor Stephen Cohen, leading US expert on Russia, offers a realistic assessment of President Vladimir Putin's recent speech which is equivalent to the US State of the Union. The Nation features his analysis of the Cold War. About his latest comments, the Nation says:
...."Cohen explains that President Putin’s speech to both houses of the Russian parliament on March 1, somewhat akin to the US president’s annual State of the Union address, was composed of two distinct parts. The first approximately two-thirds was pitched to the upcoming Russian presidential election, on March 18, and to domestic concerns of Russian voters, which are not unlike those of American voters: stability, jobs, health care, education, taxes, infrastructures, etc. The latter part of the speech was, however, devoted solely to recent achievements in Russia’s strategic, or nuclear, weapons. These remarks, though also of electoral value, were addressed directly to Washington. Putin’s overarching point was that Russia has thwarted Washington’s two-decade-long effort to gain nuclear superiority over—and thus a survivable first-strike capability against—Russia. His attendant conclusion was that one era in post-Soviet Russian-American strategic relations has ended and a new one has begun. This part of Putin’s speech makes it among the important he has delivered during his 18 years in power. (It is on the ACEWA website eastwestaccord.com.)...."