PUTIN CRIMEA

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Putin Is Playing Cat and Mouse With the Ukraine

Putin has trapped Ukraine but not yet consumed it. He is playing with it like a cat with a mouse: not exactly a chess-playing cat, if you wish, who would have his opponent in a "Zugzwang": the term for the situation where any move you make, makes the situation worse; and you cannot pass your turn.
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Look Close -- Putin Is a Pragmatic Realist

Putin's beliefs have not conformed to what the Western politicians and opinion leaders think they should have been. But the error is their own, not Putin's. They are not the realists that they think they are, because projecting one's wishful thinking onto "the Other" is not pragmatic realism. It is idealism.
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After Crimea, the Only Question is "What's Next?"

The mood on Maidan Square in central Kyiv remains decidedly grim after a referendum widely branded as illegal and illegitimate took place in Crimea on Sunday. Two Ukrainian kozaks loudly beat drums in a rhythm that is normally used in the call to arms. It serves to heighten the sense of foreboding. Now that Crimea has been hived off from mainland Ukraine, "what next?" is the question on everyone's minds
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Blame Western Hypocrisy for Crimea's Crisis

In other words, Russia's invasion of Crimea has been in the making for a long time. Russia's position of weakness as the Soviet Union disintegrated did not permit the Kremlin to act with strength against a policy of Western expansion at the expense of Russian interests. If anyone is the bully is this situation it is not simplistically Putin and the Russian military.
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DEFIANT

WASHINGTON - One by one, President Barack Obama's warnings to Russia are being brushed aside by President Vladimir Putin, who appears to only be speeding up efforts to formally stake his claim to Ukra...