[“Vladimir Putin’s long—and very dangerous—game” – American Enterprise Institute – Leon Aron 5.1.14]
AEI examines the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for manufacturing crises there to bolster himself politically at home, in the face of Russian economic shortcomings.
It is suggested that Western sanctions focus not just on deterring Russia from further interference in Ukraine, but be directed against negative developments with regard to the Putin regime generally.
… Putin is exploiting the Ukrainian revolution — specifically, by manufacturing ‘crises’ in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and nationalist euphoria and anti-Western paranoia at home — to fashion a more repressive and increasingly unpredictable Russian dictatorship for life.
With the Russian economy heading for recession … Putin … popularity largely depends on … foreign policy successes, which Putin hopes to achieve by humiliating, destabilizing, and eventually derailing Ukraine … [and] cajoling the West into rejecting sanctions against Russia …
The West should … aim its sanctions at increasing the costs of the regime’s malignant transformation rather than simply attempting to dissuade Moscow from further action in eastern Ukraine.