Valerie Bunce, a professor of International Studies and Government at Cornell University, argues that the chaos created by Russian intervention in Crimea actually builds a case for those very actions.
“Putin is gambling that, with this military intervention in Crimea, he can undermine the new government in Ukraine, generate the very chaos that justifies his illegal actions in Ukraine while encouraging Russians to support him and fear unrest in their own country.
“By sending Russian troops to Crimea in the south of Ukraine while encouraging protests in eastern Ukraine, Putin is doing his best to render Ukraine as unstable – as Russian propaganda has already claimed. Thus, his aggressive actions, while certainly violating international law, are building a case for those actions.
“In the process, while Putin wins political support at home and lays the groundwork for a return of Crimea to Russia.”