Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on the phone, a hotly-anticipated, one hour call. Throughout the campaign and transition, Trump insisted he and Putin would get along well, and hinted at closer cooperation on a range of issues.
In the week following the phone call, fighting dramatically escalated in Eastern Ukraine, where Russia backs and supplies fighters. The violent escalation has left 25,000 citizens of Avdiivka are now living without electricity, heating, or water, according to the Center for Civilians in Conflict.
In that same week, anti-Kremlin activist Vladimir Kara-Murza's lawyer said he suspects his client was poisoned again; he believes his near-fatal 2015 illness was the result of poison. And Putin's domestic critics do have a tendency to get themselves poisoned, sometimes in exotic fashion.
And a technical tweak to U.S. export limits on information technology Thursday briefly became Exhibit A in Trump's supposed rapprochement with Russia - before it wasn't.