During the 70-year reign of the Soviet Communist Party, the rest of the world played a game: Kremlinology.
The ups and downs, ins and outs of the Soviet government were so secretive, outside observers were often stuck trying to figure out which officials were in favor by where they stood on Lenin's Tomb during parades.
Vladimir Putin's regime hasn't hit Stalinist heights of paranoia (not by a long shot), but Kremlinology is back in fashion. Trying to figure out Putin's true intentions is a full-time job for individuals and agencies around the world. With Russian hackers' intervention in the U.S. election, many assumed Putin was on President-elect Donald Trump's side.
Mark Galeotti, who makes a living reading the tea leaves in Putin's samovar, explains why that's just not so on this week's episode of War College.
The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News.