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Clara Ferreira Marques

Vladimir Putin Is Tempting Fate

From massing Russian forces at the Ukraine border to jailing his loudest critic, a more repressive Kremlin is making risky choices that may backfire.

Master of all he surveys.

Master of all he surveys.

Photographer: Alexey Druzhinin/AFP via Getty Images

In politics, as in sport, some miscues can be corrected or overcome. But not all of them, even for the world’s most iron-fisted rulers. Whether borne of hubris or misreading the situation, slip-ups tend to increase as regimes age and the consequences can be unpredictable.

Could this be the moment Vladimir Putin opens himself up to unforced errors of the authority-threatening kind?