Putin and Russia: a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Euromaidan PR

By Jon BarrowЗГЕШТ

Putin is often believed to be playing a clever game, outfoxing the dithering West at every move. But it’s worth looking at this assumption more closely; I would suggest a Cost-Benefit analysis.

First, a few benefits:

  1. Russia has taken Crimea (but there is no guarantee it will keep it forever – one day, there is likely to be another, proper referendum there).
  2. Russia has destabilised eastern Ukraine (in the long-term, perhaps of little global consequence).
  3. Putin appears to have solidified popular support at home, and shut down dissenting voices (but this can only be temporary; without becoming North Korean, a state of permanent conflict is just not economically and socially tenable for more than a year or so; and triumphalism over Crimea will soon die down).

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