The “sleeping bear” of Mother Russia is either waking to attack its enemies or rolling over a few victims as it dozes, dreaming of a lost empire, Maclean’s reports. Military flights above Guam and flag-posting on the North Pole have been well-reported; but an explosion of violent nationalism, including a video of a beheading on YouTube, is kindling fears of a new Cold War.
Putin shows the West a friendly face but seems to revel in recent displays of military power, analysts say. Once opposed to extremism, the Kremlin now supports a 100,000-strong youth movement that labels Putin's critics as homosexual or fascist. "This is a way for the Kremlin to entrench its xenophobic, authoritarian political culture in the next generation," says a British author.