Putin is enlarging his fig leaf, calling what happened in Ukraine and “unconstitutional coup.” Of course it was; all coups are unconstitutional. As are all revolutions.
Putin hopes we’re so scared about how crazy he is, that we’ll roll over and give him what he wants: leaving us thinking we’ve put the genie back in the bottle. No, we’ll just be feeding his ego, where he’s most dangerous. He has the hook set, and now he’s placing us like a trout.
Like Germany in the 1930s, Russia can get a lot of domestic traction out of saying they were betrayed in the previous war and it’ll be better this time. Putin would happily restart the Cold War. Russia (the Soviet Union) wasn’t loved, but they were feared. Machiavelli wrote, best to be both; but ,if you can’t, choose to be feared.
Obama, Merkel, Hollande, et al. are completely outclassed. They’re politicians, so they do what politicians do: talk and bargain. We need a leader. A Reagan, or better a Churchill. Remember: both those men were attacked as fools and warmongers even as they were facing down (or defeating) the despots of their day. Yes, they got some domestic politics wrong, but they were spot on about the bad guys.
“It is a contemptible thing for a great nation to render itself impotent in international action, whether because of cowardice or sloth, or sheer inability or unwillingness to look into the future.” Theodore Roosevelt
Look at Putin; think Hitler. Or Stalin.