Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

'Why is Putin doing this? Because he can.'

Marianna Massey/Getty Images for USOC

That's from Julia Ioffe's excellent analysis of the crisis in Ukraine. Head over to The New Republic to read it. Spoiler alert: She is not optimistic that this will end well.

Neither America nor NATO can stop this. They've shown they won't in Georgia, because nobody wants to start a war with nuclear-armed Russia, and rightly so. So while Washington and Brussels huff and puff about lines and sovereignty and diplomacy, Russia will do what it needs to do and there's not a thing we can do about it.

Russia's next target is eastern Ukraine. Because pessimism conquers all, don't bet that Putin is going to stop once he wrests Crimea from Kiev's orbit. Eastern, Russian-speaking Ukraine — and all its heavy industry — is looking pretty good right now. [The New Republic]

Give the whole thing a read.