The first three months of U.S.-led sanctions did not cause yet deep-seated problems for Russian economy. Regardless, the stakes for Russia are very high. Like the proverbial ancient warrior, it is standing at a crossroads now.
The Indian parliamentary election is in full swing. The name of the future prime minister and the party he will represent are not all that important. It is far more important to the voters that the new government be efficient and professional.
Sunday’s events put Ukraine on the brink of civil war. However, there is still a chance to prevent the worst, but it can only be used when those calling political shots inside and outside Ukraine rise to their responsibility.
The seizure of Crimea is Putin’s personal conquest, as well as a dramatic reinforcement of his regime of personal power. For now Putin has succeeded in halting Russia’s social and economic modernization and has pushed Russia to an anti-modernization course.
In Crimea, Putin will face the financial burden which the annexation will incur. Crimea’s case may seem to be manageable at first, but the expenditure will absorb all money and Russia’s already dwindling investment will be brought to nil.
The compromise between Yanukovych and the leaders of the opposition is a long-overdue step back from a disaster, but much remains unclear. Ukraine will face a set of grim prospects, the worst of which is that the country is running out of money.