Ever since Moscow faced its first EU sanctions after annexing Crimea in 2014, Russian president Vladimir Putin has faced one all-but-immovable object on the continent—the United Kingdom. For 27 months, as Putin has attempted to erode European unity and get at least some of the sanctions lifted, UK prime minister David Cameron has been his always impossible opponent, helping to cajole the rest of the EU’s 27 members to stay in line on the sanctions.

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