The Observer view on Vladimir Putin’s reckless visit to Asia


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Vladimir Putin’s visits to North Korea and Vietnam last week caused great consternation among the western powers, which was undoubtedly his intention. The Russian president is keen to demonstrate that, notwithstanding the widespread condemnation of his illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing diplomatic ostracism and sanctions, he still has international support, and can raise the cost to his opponents of continued backing for Kyiv. If anyone doubted the extent to which the war in Ukraine has become a truly global issue, here was conclusive proof of its almost universal impact. Putin and North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, signed...