Toldjaso. Russia illegally stole the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in order to increase Moscow’s wealth and influence. Lo and behold, the Russian state-controlled energy agency has taken control of gas and oil production in Crimea, thus shutting out other potential companies and countries.
“Gunpoint business deals”, we might call such operations: Russia is not doing anything irrational here. They are using military force to take control of the European energy market. Power, literally flowing from the barrel of a gun.
Yes, Putin’s Peeps are planning to commit massive human rights abuses in the area they have taken over. And yes, they are planning to swallow up more of the former Soviet Union, creating a greater Russia in the process. But there is nothing crazy about what they’re doing.
Immoral, illegal, unethical, inhuman, and despicable, yes. Loony, no. Putin and his renascent empire are acting with cold, pure, infernally logical intent as they seize land and power: power that will continue its accretion until the rest of the world punches Vladimir in the metaphorical nose and stops him.
Mr. Blunt and Cranky