By Steven PiferRussian policy toward Ukraine is often puzzling. During a visit to Moscow nine years ago, I asked a retired senior Russian diplomat whether anyone in the Kremlin really understood Ukraine. One person did, he replied, but no one paid attention to him.
That might explain why Vladimir Putin’s policy is so badly backfiring.
Putin’s maladroit approach to Ukraine has been evident for years. On the margins of the April 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, he told alliance leaders that Ukraine was not a real country. How did he expect Ukrainians to interpret that remark when it invariably leaked?
The Russian …read more