Its impossible to underestimate Vladimir Putin because he is a tyrant and tyrants keep on being more tyrannical. His seizure of Crimea after invading it with unmarked military assets was a bold, brazen calculated move similar to Hitler taking the Sudetenland. Two tyrants. No difference.
Putin has mismanaged Russia and alienated many Russians. He mis-judged Crimea where the desire to restore Crimea to Russian rule faded decades ago. He distracted people from his failing economy by whipping up ethnic fever. That was rash. It was his punishment and his revenge against Ukraine for booting out his pro-Moscow puppet President Victor Yanucovich.
Now that he has established a path to change governments he has risked the pique from the federation of more than 80 disparate regions, including more than 160 ethnic groups and at least 100 languages. Recalcitrant cultures know how to leave Russian Domination. Follow the Putin Doctrine. Demonstrate, hold an election and win your freedom.
Crimea has been closer to Russia but reunification at the barrel of a gun will give Crimean’s pause about their fate under Putin.
A common delusion among the international community is that even though Putin is corrupt, his leadership is necessary because his regime controls the dark forces that otherwise would seize power in Russia. The West should admit it has underestimated Putin’s malign intentions. It is time to end the dangerous delusion and for the International community to act to control this International Rogue.