Russia, Winston Churchill famously said, “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” This oft-repeated quote has been trotted out by many a commentator over the decades to help explain (or not) the policies of Russian or Soviet leaders. Today, we are confronted once again with a mystery inside an enigma: What is Vladimir Putin thinking?
In late February, the Russian president sent in troops to annex Crimea from Ukraine. Inevitably, Putin invoked history, declared himself a savior of Russian peoples, and a referendum was willed as the smoke from guns still circled the air. With more than 95% of the vote, Crimea’s majority ethnic Russian population rejoined “mother” Russia.
China will not be Russia’s savior, nor would Moscow even want thatAfshin Molavi