Putin and the Russians could have approached the Ukraine situation and alleged ethnic Russians who are stranded there diplomatically and gained the territories as a hero. He could have bailed out the Ukraine in a debt for ethnic Russian swap. He didn’t do that because he assessed that he could do it his way faster while the US and Europe are distracted by so many other things. Putin didn’t fancy attending G8 parties. Since the world didn’t warm to his Olympics, he just concluded to hell with them. He grabbed the Crimean Region which arguably belonged to Russia anyway. Now, he just wants the leftovers.
Putin is probably shocked by how easy this is. How does David Patrikarakos at Politico assess the situation? Gameover. That is correct. Punishment won’t last long either because there so many opportunities for the Russians to recover by cooperating in other matters where Russia can cast a favorable vote if necessary.
“That War You Were Expecting? Putin's Already Won It
By DAVID PATRIKARAKOS
May 10, 2014
People keep waiting for the “war” to begin in Ukraine. But a 21st century-style war has already begun here, and may be almost over – something that Vladimir Putin seems to understand even if the rest of us do not.
In a world where Youtube, Twitter and Facebook dominate, the overt “hard power” of guns and bullets is no longer as publicly palatable as it once was. Autocratic states prefer to bankrupt dissidents instead of executing them; NGO workers are not “disappeared” but their offices are shut down for zoning irregularities. Nowadays even dictators have to be “post-modern.”
Putin, schooled in the art of covert power, understands this new world, both instinctively and politically. To adequately comprehend what the Russian president is doing in Ukraine you have to travel across the occupied east, which is both a journey into a country falling apart and a gradual immersion in the realities of Russian geopolitical strategy.”