Published on Apr 2, 2014
The conventional wisdom holds that Russia is not leaving Crimea; that Putin wants more; and that Putin has outmaneuvered Obama on the world stage.
The conventional wisdom is about half-right.
Russia Is Not Leaving Crimea
Since the Russian incursion into Crimea, Vladimir Putin’s popularity within Russia has soared. CNN has reported that he enjoys an approval rating of 82%, not withstanding a very weak economy.
If Putin had done nothing after his friend and ally Viktor Yanukovych was unceremoniously run out of the country, it would have given the lie to the image of Putin as a strong leader willing to move swiftly to protect the interests and restore the grandeur of Mother Russia.
If Putin had not moved on Crimea, he would have shown himself to be less than a “regional power”. Russia would have been exposed as a country that could not even protect a vital interest on its border. Putin’s approval rating at home would have been cut in half in a New York minute. Continue Reading………