Putin’s game is survival

Putin’s gains aren’t short term, they’re about his survival. The fall of Yanukovycy shook the Kremlin, but unlike Yanukovych, Putin has nowhere to run. So he is pursuing the only avenue he thinks is open to him which is political consolidation. Economic stress will accelerate his power grab and only more strongly fortify the Kremlin. Blaming foreigners and corrupt olichargs works and not only because no other voice is heard in Russia. The choice the west has here is not in what compromise to seek but how to convince nations such as China and India that there are viable global alternatives to the path that Russia is pursuing.