The Washington Post: Крым – катастрофическая ошибка Путина
As explained former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in a 2008 book, “If Ukraine moves to the West, first to the EU and eventually to NATO, the probability that Russia will move toward Europe is far greater. . . . Russians will eventually say, ‘Our future will be safest, our control over the Far East territories most assured . . . if there is a kind of Atlantic community that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok.’ ”
Putin’s Russia may well make more mistakes: We may see a cascading chain of error that brings Russian troops deeper into Ukraine and sets the stage for civil war. Those are the kind of miscalculations that lead to catastrophic consequences, and Obama would be wise to seek to deter Russian aggression without specifying too clearly what the U.S. ladder of escalation might be.
But Americans and Europeans should agree that this is a story about Putin’s violation of the international order. I’d be happy if we could interrupt Russia’s mistakes, but so far Putin insists on doing the wrong thing.