Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during the opening session of the newly elected State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (Alexei Nikolsky/Pool Photo via AP)
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Confronted by Russia in Syria, Ukraine and cyberspace, the next U.S. president will be the fourth to face Vladimir Putin and the challenge of deterring a Kremlin often more willing than the White House to take risk and project power. Over the last four years, the Russian president has annexed Crimea and destabilized eastern Ukraine, stymied U.S. hopes to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad and mounted cyberattacks that American officials blame on hackers commanded or orchestrated by Russian intelligence agencies.Some current and former U.S. officials argue the White House has failed to understand Putin's bitterness about the decade after the Soviet Union collapsed, at a time the Russian leader feels the West took advantage of Russia when it was down.It is not considering imposing further sanctions on Russia for now, two U.S. officials said.U.S. officials anonymously say Russian intelligence services have interfered in the U.S. election process by launching cyberintrusions into the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. political organizations and state election offices.
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