It seems that Putin has found it necessary to resume strategic air space patrolling in remote reaches of its territory, something the was ended with the downfall of the Soviet Union. This, along with wargames conducted with China and the rest of the SCO, is interesting, to say the least.
More and more, I fear that Russia is not our friend (which is fairly obvious, I think), and--worse--has no intention of becoming so. The idea that it's "American hegemony" or somesuch that pushes Putin to these measures falls flat when one considers that we've invited Russia to participate in much of what we've planned.
And America has not acted unilaterally in anything over the last few decades (although perhaps we should have), but has built coalitions for every major action we've taken. I point this out only because, despite Leftist claims to the contrary, America has not acted as an imperialist, sole world superpower. If we had, as the Soviet Union would have done (and Russia already has with Chechnya), then the Middle East would be decimated, a wasteland, turned into rubble as an example against others who might decide to take such actions against us.
No, I believe the Putin simply lusts for the "power" of the Soviet Union (false though it was, other than its nuclear deterrent), and is trying desperately to return Russia to this level of world influence. Of course, Russia has quite a ways to go before it gets there; it wouldn't last long in a shooting war against the US. But Putin likely feels, and probably rightly so, that he has plenty of time to work on it.