Pro-Russian activists released most of their hostages in Ukraine’s eastern city of Luhansk today after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of using “special forces and agents” to fuel unrest.
Western leaders are counting on the threat of wide-ranging sanctions to make Vladimir Putin pause for breath after swallowing Crimea. If they can’t, the Russian president may opt to move deeper into Ukraine.
Western leaders may think Vladimir Putin is crazy for threatening to annex Crimea and invade other areas of Ukraine. Most Russians, still bitter about the Soviet Union’s demise more than two decades ago, couldn’t be prouder.
The U.S. and the European Union warned Russia not to annex Crimea after a referendum in the southern Ukrainian region, setting the stage for sanctions on Russia in the worst diplomatic standoff since the Cold War.