He knows the peninsula can't survive without the rest of Ukraine. So what's his next move?
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With Russian President Vladimir Putin seizing control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, many people around the world must be wondering, “Where, in Putin’s mind, does Russia end?” The answer is that it ends where the U.S. begins.
This is because, for Putin and his domestic allies, the European Union is nothing more than the backyard of the U.S. When Russian Senators voted in favor of sending troops into Ukraine, one lawmaker claimed that the protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square who ousted the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych had been trained in Eastern Europe with U.S. money. Thus seizing Crimea—where ethnic Russians make up some 60% of the population of 2 million, with ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounting for the remainder—was an attempt to prevent the whole of Ukraine falling into the hands of the Americans.