Top six reasons why Russia is moving on Crimea, plus one observation:
1) Further erosion of post-Cold War order. The peace in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War has long passed. In fact, the collective memory of the Soviet Era has taken a rosy glow for leaders like Russia president Vladimir Putin who sees it a time when the Russians were potent and respected on the world stage, enough so that regaining some of that lost luster is a priority.
2) Russia understands and is comfortable with hard power, rather than softpower. The West’s rejection/mockery of the Sochi marketing effort no doubt underscores the futility of soft-power to Russia. Russia sees little downside to its action in Crimea. As James Goldgeier writes in the Washington Post, Obama scrapped his summit with Putin not just because of the Snowden affair but because there was “nothing to accomplish at the meeting.”
“Recently, U.S. officials suggested the pursuit of a common economic agenda might help build cooperation between the two countries – further illustrating what little shared interest remains,” he writes.