Russian President Vladimir Putin, here at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow in 2017, has seen U.S. relations reach their lowest point since the Cold War. By waiting over a month to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden, Putin tried to show strength and that “he’s ready to take the fight all the way to Washington,” Russian political commentator Konstantin Eggert says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. The Defenders of the Fatherland Day, celebrated in Russia on Feb. 23, honors the nation’s military and is a nationwide holiday. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)