Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia is on the eve of imposing an ultimatum that will result in the Ukraine falling under its control, one way or another. Putin does not recognize the interim Ukraine government, and surely will not allow free elections. His approach will not be approved by the free-world, and therefore, he is advancing to illegally occupy the Ukraine and to put Russia into a deep freeze with the West. The price to all in the global economy will be felt when Russia is shut out of the economic equation, and its natural resources are unavailable to Europe. If Russia is shut from the global market, any advantage gained from surplus fossil fuels will be wiped out. Occupying more territory will undermine the Russian economy as it takes on more responsibility with a shrinking GDP. If the EU and US hold fast on sanctions (something they have not yet imposed in full), there will be a reaction inside Russia by citizens who will become disappointed with their government. How long will that take? In months, Russians will feel the consequences, but it may take a few years before circumstances become sufficiently intolerable to provoke revolt. So, the question is how long can the EU and free world hold out? Shifting away from fossil fuel dependency may be painful, but it the only viable direction.
“‘We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate and we will struggle for that,’ Putin said. ‘I remind you that the Federation Council of Russia [the upper house of Parliament] empowered the president to use the armed forces in Ukraine.’
But Putin added that he hoped he would not have to resort to that.
Putin's threat suggests that Russia's armed intervention in Ukraine is a looming reality, Ukrainian political scientist Vadim Karasyov said.
‘Today Putin in fact set up an ultimatum for Kiev to either allow a wide federalization of Ukraine with vast powers for eastern regions allowing Moscow to regain its political and economic control over them without formally annexing them, or to face a full-scale armed invasion resulting from which Moscow will establish its military control over at least the southeast of Ukraine,” Karasyov, director of Kiev-based Institute for Global Strategies, said in a phone interview. “He made his terms quite clear today.’”