Stephen Sestanovich: Mr. Putin is so associated with lying that we no longer even bother to explain it. What are his motives? Here’s my list—four that focus on his behavior, background, and beliefs, and a last one that assesses the quality of his leadership.
Stephen Sestanovich: Russian President Vladimir Putin does not seem convinced he has lost the sanctions game, and is fighting hard.
Stephen Sestanovich: When it comes to both energy prices and the Syrian civil war, Vladimir Putin has been reminded of how fleeting policy success can be.
Stephen Sestanovich: That Vladimir Putin senses popular discontent does not mean he fears an imminent crisis. But if “Direct Line” is any measure, he knows he has a problem.
Stephen Sestanovich: If the pace of Russia's announced withdrawal from Syria turns out to be very slow, or the numbers are too small to be meaningful, this would only confirm Vladimir Putin’s sketchy reputation.