The facts are that Putin is not erratic or crazy, but is rational and predictable. He knows the West is divided and he is executing his plan like the KGB officer that he is. He wants total control over Europe's gas markets, and accompanying influence, and has done, and will do, whatever it takes to achieve this.
In a few weeks time Ukrainian voters will be going to the polls to elect a new president to replace Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country for the safety of Russia amid a Tahrir Square-style, people power uprising. The Cabinet of Ministers has no lack of urgent agenda items to deal with. Several pitfalls lie ahead:
Perhaps if this had been a one-time occurrence it would be easier to digest, but the fact is Russian president Vladimir Putin has a shameful record when it comes to just about everything. He has never hesitated to put political rivals behind bars, even going as far as jailing the protest band Pussy Riot.
At the end of the day, it will always be the people who suffer, and Ukraine has a long history of suffering. There are enough populations who feel abandoned by a Ukrainian Ukraine to fight for Russia, and enough who are ready to engulf Kiev in flames in order to show their desire to move away from the perceived dangers of an Eastern block and take their place among Western nations.
With the Ex-Ukranian PM, Yulia Tymoshenko, announcing Monday that she will be leaving to Germany for medical treatment it is now clear that she will not be written into the new political narrative. The future appears to belong to younger, untarnished politicians such as former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko.
This is the magic of Davos. Participants find themselves seated beside a tycoon at breakfast, a Nobel Prize winner at lunch and a President, potentate or a future crook at dinner.
In a highly unusual move, Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly rebuked the President of Ukraine Friday over judicial proceedings