Zakaria: Putin improvising in Crimea
March 11th, 2014
10:03 AM ET

Zakaria: Putin improvising in Crimea

CNN speaks with Fareed about the latest developments in Ukraine and what might be motivating Russia’s policy in Crimea. This is an edited version of the interview.

The general feeling over the weekend appeared to be that Crimea is pretty well lost and that Russian President Vladimir Putin has won the day with this. Is that your take, and what happens then with regard to Ukraine?

There's no question that Russia has created these facts on the ground. They've taken over Crimea, they've sealed off the borders – right now flights out of Crimea into Kiev are now taking place from the international terminal, no longer the domestic terminal.

So they've almost created their own new country, Crimea. The question, though, is what does Putin want to do with the rest of Ukraine? Because Russia has long wanted to have Ukraine as part of its protector and sphere of influence. And the real game is going to be whether Russia tries to continue in some way to influence it. They've done it in the past for money – huge amounts of cash – and they've done it informally throughout, by the use of low price gas.

But I'm not sure that this has all been thought through. There’s this theory out there that Putin is this genius strategically playing this game. Here's what I actually think happened. I think he was watching events in Ukraine slip out of control, this country that Russia has dominated for 300 years, but couldn't do anything about it because it was happening during the Sochi Olympics. And so Putin is sitting there seething, watching this country escape his grasp.

The minute the Olympics ends, he scrambles to figure out what to do, and he improvises brilliantly and has been able to detach Crimea. But he hasn't figured out what he's going to do about Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people are increasingly becoming anti-Russian and have watched this Russian takeover of Crimea with great apprehension.

What’s also happening is all the other neighbors are watching – from the Poles, the Baltic states, and also countries like Kazakhstan. The countries around Russia. And remember, there are 25 million to 30 million Russians who live in all these other countries, so imagine if you are the president of say Kazakhstan, and you're watching this news. You say, "Gosh, if Putin doesn't like what I'm doing, he's going to stir up secessionist movements in all my country."

So Putin has a lot on his hands and I don't think this is as much a plan as a lot of improvisation.

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Topics: Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. TheSadTruth

    Frankly I'm amazed that Putin would put on his bully suit so closely on the heels of what could be called a successful Olympics.

    March 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • runymede

      I am not surprised at all of Putin's actions right after the Olympics ended. In fact, I expected it.

      March 12, 2014 at 7:40 am | Reply
      • Wally

        Thank goodness Pres. Putin didn't hesitate helping the people of the Crimea the freedom of chose for their future...fast thinking and a solid move will bring about the freedom of chose .

        March 12, 2014 at 9:33 am |
    • Ian

      We may be dealing with a man with extremely low moral intellect, he certainly has had no reservations causing serious long term damage to the people of Russia. By damaging global investor confidence in Russia, it is the very prosperity of the innocent people in Russia that will lose the most in the long term.
      So long as Russians put up with state controlled media, this $40 billion dollar lair will continue to get away with drumming up patriotism to aid his games. In reality he's treating his own people like sheep & this large land mass will never be as prosperous as it should be until the people can rid themselves of this deceitful little man.

      Search for; The Seven Principles of Public Life, also known as the "Nolan principles"
      Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership

      Some western leaders also need to be replaced, but how does Putin measure up to the Nolan principles ? It seem's he's off the bottom of the scale!

      "Lower than a snakes belly!!"

      March 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Reply
      • cougar

        Ian you are so full of B.S. Vladimir Putin at the moment is a great statesman, he is among the best. Mr. Putin is going down in History as Vladimir the Great ! if your leaders were smart politicians they should have gone to the to Sochi Olympics

        March 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • John Riley Goldsmith

        Putin will annex the Crimea and will invade the Ukraine before the end of the Obama administration. America's first black President will preside over the enslavement of 45 million white people by a tyrant Hillary Clinton has called the next Hitler.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:40 am |
      • LiveFree

        So, Putin took Crimea in retaliation of Obama not attending Sochi olympic, I guess.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:10 am |
    • MIke

      I feel US is out of line here. we have no business to get involved .on one side they Congress say they have no money and cut Money for Domestic Programs and now they want to give money inBillions to Ukrine. Very eager to Put Sanctions on Russia. My qiestions is very simple. why they are not imposing Sanctions on Israel when they are grabbing Plaestinian Land. Thisi is a Double Standard.

      March 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • MIke

      Member of Congress with their actiond will bring our country to rock our economy andf we will face more financial problems

      March 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  2. Ted

    Putin may be adapting to events on the ground but he is also forcing them with military power, finding that nobody really stands in his way. He can get others parts of Ukraine if he wants to and if he doesn't get his man in Kiev, he will try just that. The real question is – how the Ukrainians who live there would deal with it – fight or not?

    March 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • HossPeace

      The Russian-Ukrainians do not want Ukraine be independent of Russia. Hear it from the horse's mouth. Also, Putin is in shambles right NOW. Too many no good advice from the red-neck Russians spraying in his face. That's what you do when you are not the people's choice to lead Russia. Russians people have too much pride culturally and ethnically. I believe there will be a mutual interest compromise. Will be. Besides this good for business otherwise the world media don't have anything to talk about except THE STAND YOU OWN GROUND LAW of Florida!!! What do you all think?

      March 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
      • LiveFree

        Russian-Ukrainians can go back to Russia if they want. Nobody forced them to live in Ukraine. They came on their own will or for a job. Now, if they dont like Ukrainians, they can go home. Mr. Putin will find them a job. He is good at that.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:14 am |
    • Joe grinm

      those Ukrainians live in russia dominated areas, they must move back to Kiev.

      March 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • Lilly

        who are you...... reveal you're name

        March 15, 2014 at 1:53 am |
      • John Riley Goldsmith

        Or they will be ethnically cleansed?

        March 15, 2014 at 10:41 am |
      • johnjo

        His name Lilly...is "Joe Thug".

        March 15, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
      • LiveFree

        Why not Russians living in Ukraine go back home with mom and daddy Putin.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:15 am |
  3. Fantom

    Oh, for God's sake! Go back and read Russia's history....Stalin's history!! Go back and read what Kruschev...Brezhnev...ALL the tsars and/or leaders have ALWAYS done. It's the old story...either the commie way or the highway. And for those who don't think communism is back and back with a vengeance, good luck trying to deal with a revitalized Party! You had all better get some smarts!!

    March 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  4. Willa45

    Improvisation? Really? CNN your silence on Venezuela is deafening!!!....Many of you are probably asking what does the Russian occupation of the Ukraine have to do with Venezuela? Yet, how can anyone connect the dots if nobody reports what's really happening in Venezuela?.....Because given the right information, it is not unreasonable to assume that open access to Venezuela's vast oil reserves can be the solution to Putin's energy dilemma!!

    Nobody is talking about the role that Castro Cuba has in all of this and the geopolitical reasons behind that. Nobody seems to 'get' how Maduro's crisis in Venezuela represents a threat to the Castro revolution and how they have relied on Russian logistical support (and Venezuelan oil revenue) to bankroll and expand their Castro/Chavist brand of Socialism across Latin America, our own backyard!

    For years, the Cuban economy has been propped up by Chavez (and now by Maduro). Not only is Maduro's regime faltering, the money's been squandered and it's all gone. Either way, Cuba is about to lose the $5B teat that Chavez (and now Maduro) has been gifting them every year, for the last fourteen years. It's not unreasonable to deduct also that Russia would be reluctant to automatically step in and fill that void.

    The Castros are anything but stupid and neither is Putin. A takover of Venezuela would satisfy their mutual dilemma. Soviet trained Cuban military are already embedded in the Venezuelan National Guard and the Venezuelan army. Only last week a Russian naval vessel was docked in Havana and I've been told (unconfirmed) that a second Russian ship is docked in the Venezuelan port of LaGuaira.

    That is the true reason why Venezuela is bleeding on the streets without food, water or electricity. These Cuban/Russian nationals aren't there to satisfy the demands of the Venezuelan people....quite the contrary..they are there to help control Venezuela and the oil. That is the prize and that's what they're after. They will do anything and everything necessary until the CastroCuban takeover of Venezuela (and its vast reserves of oil) is complete!! After that, it's anybody's guess what role Russia, Syria, China, Iran etc. will play within our own hemisphere but already Putin has been talking about miltary bases in places like Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela!!

    March 11, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  5. sickofitall

    Zakaria: Putin improvising in Crimea...so? do you think the boy wonder has a plan...or a clue?

    March 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  6. John

    Obama is certainly skilled at improvising as well, but he does a poor President.

    March 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  7. Guest

    Fareed, you can't really believe this is all ad hoc. Putin is following a tried-and-true formula. Hitler did it in Europe when he invaded countries with German-speaking populations. Putin did this the first time in 2008 when he broke chunks off Georgia. The Russian Reset gave him carte blanche to do the same thing to Ukraine. If he's not held to account he will do this again and again until he's stopped or until he believes there will be a cost that outweighs what he stands to gain.

    March 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • DP

      > Putin did this the first time in 2008 when he broke chunks off Georgia.

      those chunks were not Georgia in the first place

      March 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • johnjo

      And of course since then he has helped kill thousands of Syrians by his arms alliance with Tin-pot Assad & displaced many more & people think he should get the "Nobel Peace Prize"? He should get a prize all right but not a "Peace Prize".

      PS. Yesterday, he shut down all media networks/press in Russia that didn't spin his yarn of propaganda forcibly. The guy as Merkel says, has "Lost it"!

      March 15, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  8. Max

    There was a huge mess in Russia in the nineties. I believe everybody understands that now. The government was very weak, and there was no rule of law, but street/gangster law. While I'm not big fan of Putin, he deserves a credit for stabilizing that. Even if new bureaucracy is corrupt, it is more predictable and safe. (High oil prices help, but they are only part of the story)

    Ukraine stuck in the nineties. Shadow economy is very big, corruption is much worse than it is in Russia. If Crimea will be more like Russia, less like Ukraine, people will notice. And then it will provide more opportunities for further moves. This is long game.

    March 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • johnjo

      Corruption in Ukraine was Yukonovych's corruption who was in the pocket of Putin. Also, the economy in Russia is still a mess as they are in recession just look at what happened on one day of stock market frenzy there when investors ran on March 1st because of this illegal foray by Putin. The same will happen next week & the ruble will be worth near zilch.

      All it has is gas & oil, but US is not now as dependent on others for same, & neither is Europe. And then warmer better weather is nearer than is cold weather as we're now in middle of March. And even Putin needs for the gas/oil to still sell as he needs all the dollars he can get his hand on otherwise his economy will collapse sooner than he thinks. He not infallible you know, & with his Mafia & his crude Oligarchs support behind him, his machoness would turn into invisibleness.

      March 16, 2014 at 12:06 am | Reply
      • johnjo

        Sorry for my unedited version.

        Corruption in Ukraine was Yukonovych's corruption who was in the pocket of Putin. Also, the economy in Russia is still a mess as they are in recession just look at what happened on one day of stock market frenzy there when investors ran on March 1st because of this illegal foray by Putin. The same will happen next week & the ruble will be worth near zilch.

        All it has is gas & oil, but US is not now as dependent on others for same, & neither is Europe. And then warmer better weather is nearer than is cold weather as we're now in middle of March. And Putin needs for the gas/oil to still sell as he needs all the dollars he can get his hands on...otherwise his economy will collapse sooner than he thinks. He is not infallible you know, & without his Mafia & his crude Oligarchs support behind him, his machoness would soon turn into invisibleness.

        March 16, 2014 at 12:10 am |
  9. phil

    An irish potential customer told me today they avoid russian product (i sell russian, and other...) because there is no stability there... not like rest of developed world anyway, so was very pleased when I told him I could give him chinese... sad. The country has jumped headlong into its disfunctional past. Putin has screwed the pooch with this one.

    March 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  10. bert f.

    I believe that any Russians living in one of the former Soviet Union republics wanting to be part of Russia should get their wish. Pack them up and ship them to Russia with a one way ticket.

    March 11, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • Aleks

      but we survived and with the former Soviet republics, and Beleth is not allowed. so that you criticize Russia but why do you ask for what was needed maidan and who paid?

      March 16, 2014 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • XTX

      Nobody will force Russian people to leave !

      They have right to live everywhere they live !

      And if you chose to force them, you will have to deal with Russian military force and violence !

      March 16, 2014 at 6:20 am | Reply
  11. Randy

    I usually disagree with Zakaria, but I have to agree that Putin is improvising in the Crimea. Who would have guessed that the protesters backed by the US and EU would overthrow the government in the Ukraine; nearly certainly not the US and EU after a "national unity government" and early elections had been arranged. Everyone has been playing catch-up since the protesters went off-script.

    March 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  12. Mike

    Crimea is a srategic Navy location giving Putin access to the Black Sea and the "Med". Put that in the pot with most wanting to be part of Russia , stir it up and it's easy to see taking it. He's no more improvising that Fareed is speculating . I'd bet on Putin being a lot smarter than Zakaria on planning over time...

    March 12, 2014 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Wally

      Well said Mike...also what country would not protect an area of that importance...we all know if the shoe was on the other foot the U.S. would do it in a second and understandingly so.

      March 12, 2014 at 9:15 am | Reply
  13. ermentrude

    The Crimea is Russian. The west has failed to make it a full partner in the Ukraine because Ukrainian politics were not disposed to do that.

    March 12, 2014 at 1:15 am | Reply
  14. PeterD

    Make up your Mind Fareed. Last week you said Putin is desparate.

    March 12, 2014 at 4:36 am | Reply
  15. dave

    fareed is improvising based on developing situation. He really has no clue about putin,

    March 12, 2014 at 6:57 am | Reply
    • DP

      CNN management really needs to see if it is worth to keep that clown on payroll... unless they want to be clowns along

      March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  16. 1stlttightwad

    I would like to see a political cartoon with Obama and Putin sitting at a game board...Obama yells out "King Me." and Putin yells out "Check Mate...This ain't checkers..

    March 12, 2014 at 7:05 am | Reply
  17. bob

    Russia is now flexing its former Soviet muscles and bullying Ukraine again. Russia has always done what was in its own best interests regardless of international opinion. Why? Because they can. Bush went into Iraq and caused a disaster for US troops when the country fell apart and civil war ensued. Russia probably won't bully the rest of Ukraine because he doesn't want to bite off more than he can chew. But, realistically the west won't do much but threaten sanctions. We're just getting out of a 13 yr war in Afghanistan. We're exhausted and broke. Russia is just another thorn in our backside.

    March 12, 2014 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • Lilly

      I agree totally.....

      March 15, 2014 at 2:22 am | Reply
    • LiveFree

      It does not cost a lot to run a CIA operation supplying small arms to Ukrainians insurgency. Remember Afghanistan?

      March 16, 2014 at 2:19 am | Reply
  18. Simonzee1

    All Obama and the EU has done is lost Crimea while the rest of the East descends into civil war. Look at Libya now... and that is the template. We will see pipelines attacked by the far-right or other terrorists to disrupt gas supplies to Europe; and America will use all the chaos to start exporting gas to Europe but with the price that Americans and their industry will pay more for gas. More jobs for Europe with cheap gas. Less jobs for America with expensive gas. That's how Obama rolls!

    March 12, 2014 at 8:57 am | Reply
  19. Wally

    Thank-you to Russia for stepping up and protecting the wishes of the people of the Crimea and letting them freely chose their future. What puzzles me is when Russia helps people the U.S. calls it an invasion & aggression, but when the U.S. does even worse it's called some kind of freedom fighting...kind of a strange double standard.

    March 12, 2014 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Well said, Wally. Thank you.

      March 12, 2014 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Ian

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvuWHEU9dVY&w=640&h=360]

      March 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • johnjo

      Wally...you're sure in Putin's pocket. The people of Crimea didn't ask him for help that is not until Putin had a word with his sidekick in Crimea Sergei Aksyonov, who is also deep in Putin's pocket...secondly, the language thing was taken out of context by you've guessed it Putin's Propaganda's Machine.Wally. Blown up out of all proportions. Also, Putin invaded before he got permission from his parliament...which means he illegally went into Ukraine as an aggressor. US has to go to to the Senate & House of Representatives to carry out any action in another country & they have to discuss same with all other Coalition countries & even Russia & China etc before doing same...so all in all Putin is the "Villain" of this piece & he plans even more villainy in the future.

      March 16, 2014 at 12:32 am | Reply
  20. DP

    CNN officially "off ramped" from Ukraine... = headlines 🙂

    Malaysia Airlines
    East Harlem explosion
    'The Uncounted'
    Trial drug
    Weather
    Death row
    Marijuana
    'The Bachelor'

    as expected

    March 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  21. Simonzee1

    Look at Bosnia and the corruption and frustration with the E.U. Look at the recent reports by the U.N on Libyan weapons turning up all over the middle east. Reflect on the E.U stage managed coup with groups organised to protect buildings. It looked wierd...a clear indication of stage management.

     The trouble is that this organisation is just an embarrasing display of stage managed hope for the future after a coup without due political progress but a certain future of a bitter civil war not for Crimea but West vs East Ukraine.

    Surely this is not the grand plan........" 

    "On that methodological basis this article argues that a global monopoly on the legitimate use of organized violence — a world state — is inevitable. At the micro-levelworld state formation is driven by the struggle of individuals and groups for recognition of their subjectivity. At the macro-level this struggle is channeled toward a world state by the logic of anarchy, which generates a tendency for military technology and war to become increasingly destructive. The process moves through five stages, each responding to the instabilities of the one before — a system of states, a society of states, world society, collective security, and the world state. Why a World State is Inevitable " (ALEXANDER WENDT University of Chicago.)

    This certainly sounds like the E.U with the big problem being "organised." Protestantism and protestant nations are conducive to being organised and Catholic countries which were active in social welfare now on an austerity drive; but the East is a different ballgame as are tribal countries like Libya and others.

    So much naivety. 

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/world/europe/on-ukraine-merkel-finds-limits-of-her-rapport-with-putin.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0&referrer=

    Interesting parts in the article...."He cannot turn back,” Mr. Rahr said of Mr. Putin and “she is not helping him out of the situation.”...."In a strong indication of how worried even conservatives are about losing good contact with Russia, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Wednesday gave a statement to Bild, the country’s biggest-circulation newspaper, saying that “great omissions” had been made in policy toward Ukraine. “The mood of revolt in Ukraine was not intelligently followed. Equally there was a lack of sensitivity in the dealings with our Russian neighbor, especially President Putin,” he said.“We cannot forget: War is not policy,”

    March 13, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
  22. Wally

    Mr Zakaria, you'll definitely be good in writing fiction stories. To start with do you have a word to say about banning Russian language, fascism of the right forces, repressions of pro-Russia people etc etc whose are millions ?

    March 15, 2014 at 4:11 am | Reply
  23. USAPeasant

    Being a Peasant and all, forgive me if I am somewhat partial to folk lore. But for the amusement of ye well educated globalists and illuminati and russian spy trolls and chinese 50 cent troopers and tea party whackobirds and liberal communists among all others whom use conspiracy theory as an epithet yet are among themselves the greatest theoriests and others:

    You all forgot the Lord of the Rings Conspiracy!

    Now basically Frodo didn't kill Sauron, Sauron is Putin. (Tsauron in Russian maybe?) Putin basically went dormant until making contact with of course Stalin and gradually took shape in a KGB experiment. The experiment got out of hand and manuevering weakling Gorbachev into power to fool the Americans into thinking the USSR had collapsed the puppet wizard Yelstin Drinkbrandy took power. Tsauron Putin easily beguiled Yeltsin into surrendering the once proud land of Russiya to Putin on January 1st 2000! So it was the land where the noble knights and riders that roamed in story had become enslaved.

    Today Tsauron Putin has reformed and he has manuevered into power and gone seeking the Rings of Power that remained after LOTR ended. All we know of for sure is Putin has stolen one the Rings of Powers. That one ring was the Superbowl Ring previously in the hands of Bob Kraft, king under the Mountain and Master of the Patriots of New England. had and was among the dwarf rings. This scientifically (whatever that wizard/istari crap science is) explains why Mac and Cheese is hardy and delicious. Now Putin has been gathering all the Rings of Power. He all ready got the "Super Bowl" Ring from the Americans, which is thus why they are utterly and feebly unable to help him save the Free Peoples of Middle Europe. So don't be blaming King Obama because he can't fight Putin unless he gets back America's Ring of Power (highly unlikely as Putin has exposed himself to indeed be Sauron) or unless someone else with a ring of power steps up to help.

    Now for you more "rational minded elitists." Consider this; a problem arises here in the LOTR Theory and it is the only way to use your istari, magic, politcs, science stuff to debunk it:

    1. Are there other rings of power besides the one Putin took possession of from America? (must consult LOTR plus history plus archaeology plus secret conspiracy politics, plus fact some guy sitting in a cave for a few hundred years might have accidently found a ring years ago in the Misty Alpines. lol.)

    2. Does it even matter considerring Putin has just decided to conquer the Free Peoples of Middle Europe!?

    Well let the debunking begin and don't let WW3 start 🙂

    March 15, 2014 at 5:31 am | Reply
  24. farida
    March 15, 2014 at 8:26 am | Reply
  25. Anna Bensabat

    If a person really wants to understand the whole of the situation they should stop to listen only to brilliant things they think they have to say and start also to listen to others, on different sides of the matter. And then a person, upon their own investigation of the facts should make their own conclusions.
    Most of these CNN analysts don't have a clue and they just practice devise speech. They don't add nothing constructive to the table.

    March 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  26. ElliotJKlein

    Is there any real difference between this and Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland to "protect" ethnic Germans living there? Is there any difference in the "appeasement" that is happening now?

    March 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  27. wow, what a comment

    You have "nailed it" Elliot J Klein. This is exactly what Hitler did, that led up to WWII. Next stop for Putin......... Ukraine, ofcourse. The Nazis had their "Gestapo" or secret police....... Putin is a product of the KGB, Russia's secret police...... they must be long lost cousins! So is WWIII around the corner and we just don't know it yet????

    March 15, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  28. johnjo

    Interesting parts in the article...."He cannot turn back,” Mr. Rahr said of Mr. Putin and “she is not helping him out of the situation.”...."

    Putin doesn't want to turn back because he was given ample opportunity to do so & all he does is say one thing & do another. This is Putin's problem for he invaded Ukraine, not US's/UK's/EU's but Putin's. Even Angela Merkel who is a very good Russian speaker & the one leader in the EU Putin has time for...couldn't convince him to take a step back & now even she has lost patience with his bullheadedness & has as well threatened to join in with the sanctions against him.

    Putin when he was a clerk in the KGB at the time of the fall of the Wall in 89 couldn't believe how fast his & the USSR bloc's world collapsed before his eyes & cursed those in power at the time Gorbachev etc, for having let such a thing happen. He was of the mindset that wanted it all back at any cost...he also was going to have luck on his side rather than political artistry to weave his way into power over the Russia that was left. To get there he used his experience of the KGB & his friends from the KGB & the first of his dirty tricks to get into a position to achieve same. & then he also had the help of Boris Yeltsin who really didn't care at that stage who lead once he felt he left Russia in a strong pair of hands for that period of time but more than that, that the one he would choose as his successor would grant him immunity from prosecution for the rest of his life for his many crimes of embezzlement & corruption he too committed during his tenure as President. Putin got the job & Boris got his prize from not being behind bars at the least.

    Now Putin is on this side of embarking on his walk of madness & can't see the wood from the trees & is if he keeps this up...is going to walk right into his future of "Overthrow"!

    March 16, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply
  29. jake

    What has happened during the past two weeks in Crimea is nothing but tragic. It also shows how useless the UN is in this and other types of world events. A good start would be to get rid clause in the UN charter that allows for the permanent 5 members of the UN to veto actions to help countries like Ukraine. Another would be to dissolve the UN to remove the permanent 5 members with veto powers that often hold back the correcting actions that must be taken during world crises. We are far past what the UN can do for the world as a whole since it has become the 21st Century's League of Nations. Let the world community develop a new organization for the 21st Century where there hands can not be tied with veto from any country.

    March 16, 2014 at 3:52 am | Reply
  30. Yuri

    What other variant for Crimea? To suppress its 60% Russian population by war? If they do not want to live in that nationalist's Ukraine – nothing to do is possible. Only suppressing them by war. But Russians in Crimea about 2 millions. It will be the great war. Why do the war, if we have democratic method to solve same situations – referendum?!

    March 16, 2014 at 4:36 am | Reply
    • wow, what a comment

      My dear Yuri, you really think the world does not know history huh? How about this solution. Those so-called 60% Russian population that lives in Crimea are most welcome to go back to their "motherland" Russia, where they can live happily ever after. The original inhabitants of Crimea, for thousands of years, have always been the Tartars. It was Peter the (not so) Great, Czar of Russia, that rode his cavalry into their land, and murdered half of them, and stole their land, and occupied it. So that is why the majority of Crimea became Russian. It was thru a horrible act of murder followed by thieving! And after your ugly "Russian Revolution", Lenin & Stalin (the mass murderer) created a very false Nation, called USSR, with 26 so-called "Republics" kicking and screaming blue-bloody murder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So now, in the 21st century, your KGB THUG Putin, wants to get back to that screwed up "glory"????????? Give us a break!!!!!!!!!!!! Putin and (unfortunately) Russia, deserve what is coming to them............. sanctions is just the first step................. 🙂

      March 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Reply
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