The Putin Files

The Reset and Arab Spring: Putin as Prime Minister

Barack Obama arrived to the presidency seeking a “reset” with Russia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was charged with improving U.S.-Russia relations, but hopes of a reset faded quickly with the start of the Arab Spring, when authoritarian leaders across the Middle East fell to popular protests. In 2011, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown and killed in Libya. For Putin, U.S. support for democracy was seen as a disguise for toppling unfriendly regimes.
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