Putin’s Ukraine Ambition Unimpeded by West as Crimea Looms - Bloomberg:
"Western leaders are counting on the threat of wide-ranging sanctions to make Vladimir Putin pause for breath after swallowing Crimea. If they can’t, the Russian president may opt to move deeper into Ukraine.
Putin has yet to blink after sending in Russian troops to seize control of the Crimean peninsula last month, triggering the worst confrontation since the Cold War. Even as the U.S. and European governments step up their threats of punitive action, pro-Russian protests that are happening in the east of Ukraine, including deadly clashes last night, give him the pretext for further incursions.
“I wouldn’t rule out a Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine, though it’s not on the agenda at the moment,” Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Moscow-based Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, said by phone March 12. “If the Ukrainian authorities repress these protests, Russia will respond.”"
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