This complex picture of Putin is emerging as analysts study his latest contradictory moves in eastern Ukraine.
First, Putin is a prickly leader who was personally wounded that President Barack Obama and other world leaders didn’t attend the Sochi Olympics or give him credit for staging a safe global extravaganza despite terrorist threats.
The West may have been slow in imposing crippling financial measures, but Putin knows they’re possible.
When Merkel agreed with Obama that sectoral sanctions would be triggered if Russia sabotaged Ukraine’s election – not just by an outright invasion – Putin had to reconsider his moves.
For all Putin’s ruthlessness, he appears to be acting in Ukraine without a well-defined long-term strategy.
Putin seems to sense that he would pay a cost for invading Ukraine or fomenting permanent turmoil inside its borders.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/May-12/255924-is-putin-playing-for-a-draw-in-ukraine.ashx#ixzz31aM0Vlt1
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)