Russia, on the other hand, has too often played the antagonist willing to cooperate with the world in order to prevent nuclear war and to ensure Russian interests could be addressed even in a world increasingly dominated by US influence. With the Ukraine Crisis in mind, it appears the mentality of Russian leadership has not changed. What makes Putin so much more dangerous than his predecessors, who were constantly at odds with American leadership during the Cold War, is that he and his narrowing inner-circle appear to have no respect for the devastating power of nuclear weapons.
Unfortunately, the provocative hardliners who have seized control of the Kremlin act less like the rulers of a world power and more like the leadership of an insecure rogue state, such as North Korea. North Korea is overly aggressive and provocative toward its neighbors, because the government is terrified of the International Community overthrowing the regime. In order to secure the support of its people, it has fostered a culture of paranoia and contorted visions of the world.
More importantly, North Korea uses its military might to intimidate its neighbors and the rest of the International Community, which has too often pursued peace and stability to a fault. North Korea also relies on its nuclear arsenal to compensate for the inability of its traditional armed forces to match the power of the United States, South Korea, and the rest of the International Community, including China. Given Russia’s strategic and clandestine use of traditional forces in Ukraine Crisis as well as its threats of nuclear war, it almost appears as though the Kremlin is taking its cues from Pyongyang.