Joe Biden is the fifth American president to deal with Vladimir Putin. His predecessors, in their own different ways, tried to placate a strongman who never hid his desire to solidify authoritarian control at home while furthering his ambitions on the world stage. George W. Bush tried to get a “sense of [Putin’s] soul.” Barack Obama engaged in a “reset.” And Donald Trump maneuvered to bring Putin back into the Group of Eight (among other things).
U.S. presidents of both parties looked the other way as the Kremlin leader went after Russian med...
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