We are witnessing the re-emergence of the Soviet bear of Asia. Vladimir Putin is thumping his chest on the world stage while NATO and Barack Obama lob diplomacy and sanctions at a man that is hell bent on reclaiming the old Soviet states.
Whether the mainstream media reports this or not, Putin is on a roll. To understand this, you need to get into the Soviet mindset of Putin. At every turn he thumbs his nose at the West, especially Barack Obama. When Obama and John Kerry were dropping the ball on what to do about Iran's nuclear threat, Putin struck a deal of inspections that the rest of the G8 supported. When American intelligence leaker, Edward Snowden, needed a safe harbor from the U.S., Putin granted Snowden entry to Russia. When Putin hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian athletes garnered almost as many medals as the United States. These are just a few examples of how Putin has re-established his role on the world stage. In essence, his resolve is stronger than ever. He is on a roll. And, now he is unleashing his grand plan of restoring the East bloc countries of Europe to, not Russian, but Soviet control.
Putin has been planning this Soviet reset for decades. Recently, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recalled a discussion he had with Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia. Putin at that time was Mayor of St. Petersburg. They were dining together during a speech by Russian President Gorbachev. The conversation was brief, but powerful. Putin spoke sternly how the current Russian leadership was growing weak. And, a return to the age of Soviet rule would return as a world power. And, he planned to be a leader on the world stage. Quite a lunch discussion, huh?
Does Putin know this is his time? He knows the power of his military. Putin also knows the weaknesses of Barack Obama. He has met with Obama, heard Obama babble on the phone about sanctions and such. Putin considers Obama a weak leader and almost a non-threat to what he has planned for Crimea, Ukraine and other old states.
Sanctions mean nothing to the swift actions of the Soviet bear. Obama, Kerry and the whole diplomacy corps are neck deep in bureaucracy. While Putin is deftly positioning his troops to use Crimea as a stepping stone to consume Ukraine. Econonmic sanctions and such may take months to make any impact on Putin's Russia. In the meantime, Putin will seize control of Ukraine in short order with his eyes set on other East bloc states as well.
What will it take to stop Putin? He is an old Soviet, KGB man at heart. He only will respond to force. He has somewhat of sense of his place as a "world" leader, yet sanctions mean almost nothing to him. It will take the unified voice of the now nervous Eastern European countries to demand military troops and direct confrontation to hold back advancing Russian troops. In fact, if Putin moves fast enough, he may capture more territory before an effective military force may be in place to counter his chess game.
We will watch how Vladimir continues his Soviet power move. Now, the big question, will the West respond with force to stop him?