To prevent an effective response from the West, Putin brazenly intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help defeat Hillary Clinton, a critic, and elect Donald Trump, a fan. He has also meddled in European elections to help pro-Russian candidates. The Russians even fomented an unsuccessful coup to try to prevent Montenegro from joining NATO.
In 2014, a Russian antiaircraft missile shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, killing 298 people. Instead of apologizing and paying restitution, Putin spread crazy conspiracy theories blaming the shoot-down on Ukraine, the CIA or some other culprit. In 2015, Putin entered the Syrian civil war to help a criminal regime commit war crimes against its own people. Not satisfied with killing Syrians, last month Russian mercenaries attacked a base that held U.S. forces in an apparent attempt to drive the United States out of Syria.