Lilia Shevtsova At The American Interest ‘Putin Ends The Interregnum:’
‘What a mess Putin has gotten us all into! But let’s also give him his due: He has paved the way for the emergence of new trends—or at least he’s called the existing ones into serious question. He has also facilitated the formation of Ukrainian national identity, ensuring that the country will never again become a mere extension of Russia. He has thus undermined his own dream—that of creating the Eurasian Union. He has precipitated a crisis in his own country, making its future path completely unpredictable. And finally, he has reminded NATO of its mission and prompted the liberal democracies to reflect on their own principles.’
It seems there’s a Russian ethno-nationalist core Putin’s playing to aside from the clear interest in Crimea and a corridor that means splitting Ukraine in two. Just how Putin defines that core in order to play-up to Russian pride, nostalgia and national security via his own power via a cagey ex-KGB, authoritarian, petro-Czar ruling-style is up for debate.
Over at the New Republic, they’re going to have to work harder to figure out how to maintain humanist, Left-liberal ideals in the face of such meddling and aggression (they might have to think about rebuilding the Peretz wall separating a kind of liberalism from full-on Lefty activism that new ownership has since removed):
‘The Kremlin will continue to deny its involvement in Ukraine, and the U.S. and E.U. will take their time calling this an outright invasion. Russia has made its objectives in Ukraine clear, and has signalled its resolute unwillingness to participate in military negotiations while its political concerns go unresolved.’
It’s pretty clear the Georgia model is in play, to some extent. Ukraine’s economy is weak, and its civil institutions very corrupt, but Putin’s aims are pretty clear.
An interesting interview with an American volunteer with Army experience and Ukrainian roots who’s joined the fight. A surprisingly reasonable-sounding guy via VICE:
Via a reader: George Kennan’s ‘Long Telegram’ back to Washington in 1946.
From Vlad’s pen to NY Times readers’ eyes.
Nearly three years ago now: Eric Posner At The Volokh Conspiracy: The Bear Is Back!