Nobody knows how Russian President Vladimir Putin and his lust for Ukraine eventually will play out. His taking of Crimea and the presence of Russian armed troops along the eastern border with Ukraine certainly resembles a country in an invasion mode and one with expansion plans.
There are those people, including close Russian observers, who believe Putin is doing what dictators often resort to when conditions are unsettling on the domestic front — they divert the attention of the people by creating a crisis, often with other countries that are portrayed as enemies. Putin claims he is taking actions to support Russian-leaning people in Ukraine. Russia has done this in other regions where there are Russian ethic groups. None, of course, are as big as Ukraine.
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