A woman proudly displays a flag depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a pro-Russian rally in the center of Sevastopol, Crimea, on March 8, 2014. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
The half-hearted intervention in Ukraine by an ill-prepared European Union and toothless threats from Washington on behalf of Kiev have given Moscow the perfect pretext to project power into a region it has long coveted. Regardless of the outcome of a Crimean referendum this weekend to join Russia, the region’s political status has been inexorably altered.
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