Vladimir Putin has decided its time to flex his missiles.
Last month,Russia's ambassador to Copenhagen threatened to target Denmark's warships with nuclear weapons if that country joins NATO's defense shield.
Russian generals also told U.S. officials during a meeting in Germany in March that Moscow would utilize a "spectrum of responses from nuclear to nonmilitary" if NATO moved more forces into the Baltic states.
And, in a recent documentary aired on Russian state television, Putin himself said he was prepared to put the country's nuclear forces on alert during the annexation of Crimea a year ago.
Is it all bluster? The geopolitical equivalent of Putin's fondness for being photographed shirtless? Or does it point to something darker?
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast I address these questions with co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.