Some stories on Russia worth your time:
Leon Aron: The Front Lines on Russia’s Home Front
Those who claim Putin commits acts like seizing Crimea simply because he can are wrong. He does these things because he must — because, as leader of a morally near-bankrupt regime at a time of a sharp economic decline, a major foreign policy defeat is something he cannot afford, and a spectacular assertion of power is almost all he has left. Putin launched himself into the very risky, open-ended Ukrainian adventure for largely domestic reasons; those seeking to bring it to an end would do well to remember this when figuring out how to honorably untangle the mess Vladimir made.
John Yoo: Russia: A Great Power No More
Putin’s dreams of a resurrected Imperial Russia evoke a Potemkin village rather than Peter the Great. The United States can pull aside the curtain on Russia’s great-power pretensions and begin a reform of the international system that would advance American interests and global welfare.
And in what might be a preview of things to come, if Putin, as Aron is asserting, is largely trying to gin up domestic popularity by stepping on the necks of Ukrainians:
Crimea hasn’t done it for him, next Eastern Ukraine? Heute den Krim, morgen die ganze Ukraine?
As mentioned earlier, folks, gangsters usually don’t stop until they’re stopped.