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What does Russia want and why?

"It is Putin the conservative and not Putin the realist who decided to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty."

By Ivan Krastev  

Guarding a Ukrainian pier: Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea. © PA Images 

On March 1 Russia took de facto control over Crimea—prompting the German chancellor Angela Merkel to comment that President Putin was living “in another world”. Has Putin indeed lost the plot or is he simply asserting his power over Crimea and the East of Ukraine? Why did he decide to resort to force? And why does he seem unafraid of the West’s reaction? The popular opinion is that the Russian President…

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