Maxim Shemetov / Courtesy Reuters

Watching Putin in Moscow

What Russians Think of the Intervention in Ukraine

By sending troops into Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin has amplified Ukraine’s turmoil and set off the most dangerous crisis Europe has seen this century. Less noted, however, is that the move portends a significant change in Russia’s domestic politics. Putin has abandoned the strategy that has underwritten his political dominance for the last 14 years. And in doing so, he has bet the throne on an approach that is likely to fail. The secret to Putin’s past political success is simple: Presiding over years of rapid economic recovery, he could claim credit for restoring stability after Russia’s …

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