A ruthless game of geopolitical poker has been going on for some time in the Caucasus, one involving energy and who is going to have the upper hand in a vital region. Russian leader Vladimir Putin is demonstrating more and more just how well he can play the game and on very tough terms. The former KGB agent knows how to use cash, secret services and pipelines to blackmail his opponents. If it turns out that it was his decision to execute the dissident Russian agent in London, it will be clear that he is the toughest player of the geopolitical game in the world. The American hawks have lost in Iraq and cannot portray him as the new, post-Cold War Antichrist, because Putin is inciting them with his race to expand Russian influence in the Caucasus and the surrounding region.