Vladimir Putin has built up enormous popularity based on Russian nationalism. To take a soft approach in Ukraine risks that, but to go hard risks war with Europe, explains Thomas Ambrosio, professor of political science at North Dakota State University.
The end game for Russia and President Vladimir Putin is not one that subsumes the Ukraine, but makes it more sympathetic to the Russian cause. It's a deadly game of chess.
Russia is still massing troops on Ukraine's border. Most of the posturing is for effect -- but if push comes to shove, Russia will be the one doing the shoving.
Crikey readers talk animal testing, the situation in Crimea and what Andrew Bolt really wants.
Through a lack of military might and political will, the European Union is not going to intervene in the Ukraine-Russia dispute, writes international affairs expert Donnacha Ó Beacháin.
The people of Crimea have, overwhelmingly and expectedly, voted to throw their lot in with Russia. But there were a litany of problems in a referendum that was technically unconstitutional.