March 28, 2014

Why Russia Yearns for Empire

James Holmes, The Diplomat

The Associated Press

Should Russian actions in Crimea have come as a shock? Not here. Sure, the specifics were surprising. But that’s true of any sudden contingency, isn’t it? We all suffer from a prophecy deficit. Indeed, even President Putin may not have planned this venture in advance. He may have simply seen an opportunity coming and seized it. Such events are intrinsically unpredictable.

But scope out to the macro level. Ever since the Cold War, Russians have yearned to restore their standing as a power to be reckoned with. Nor is this impulse likely to subside, either among the political leadership, or the armed forces, or an electorate that covets a return to glory.

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TAGGED: Russia, Ukraine

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