As Russia and NATO practice "war games" this week in eastern Europe, Moscow ups the ante by exposing three of its deadliest subs as they wrap their way around Great Britain en route to Syria.
As Russia's Northern Fleet approaches Syria, and hence Israel, Putin and Netanyahu found time to talk by phone. Topics included birthday greetings to Netanyahu and 25 years of relations between the countries. According to the Kremlin, "they also discussed urgent international and regional issues."
Russia's huge Northern Fleet, including its massive aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, passed through the British Channel today. Almost certainly en route to Syria, it could be Moscow's "biggest military offensive since the Cold War."
What is Putin's assessment of the US accusation that Russia is tampering in its presidential election and, in retaliation, its cyber, economic and military threats aimed at Moscow? According to Putin, it is an attempt to distract voters. As for sanctions, the US and its allies can "screw themselves."
It is no secret that, at best, Russia and the United States are "competing" with one another. On the surface, the issues are Syria, oil, nuclear weapons, and superpower leadership in the Middle East. Who is winning? This Israeli perspective suggests an unlikely answer.