Will Vladimir Putin be content with his aquisition of Crimea as a fait accompli
? Or will he want more--perhaps the rest of Ukraine, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), and even some of the former Soviet Satellite states?
An article by Tim Lister, in CNN, notes the following:
Is Russian President Vladimir Putin an opportunist, grabbing at chances to poke the West in the eye, or a clever strategist with the longer-term goal of restoring a greater Russia? Is he simply riding a tide of Russian patriotic fervor over Crimea? Is he a rational actor aware of the delicate balances within the international system, or as one observer put it, "drunk on power" and oblivious to sanctions?
These are the questions preoccupying western governments and Russia's neighbors, after the swift annexation of Crimea and Russian military maneuvers close to the Ukrainian border.
There were some tantalizing clues in Putin's pugnacious speech to the Duma this week. He described the fall of the Soviet Union as unfortunate -- because it had separated Russians. "The Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders," he said.
"It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realized that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered." He went on to say, "if you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard."...
But [Putin] then said this: "It should be above all in Ukraine's own interest to ensure that these people's rights and interests are fully protected. This is the guarantee of Ukraine's state stability and territorial integrity."
In other words, if the Kremlin believes Russians are being discriminated against, Ukraine's independence is no longer assured.
Here is the link: What does Vladimir Putin want next? - CNN.com