Wiretap: The games are over; Russia goes round the bend

Why is Putin doing this, asks the New Republic’s Julia Ioffe. And the response: Because he can. As the situation in Ukraine grows ever more dangerous, New Yorker editor David Remnick says that Putin’s reaction exceeded our worst expectations. Ukraine leadership is weak and unstable. The Orange Revolution never really took hold, and Putin believes that he must take a stand against the West, somewhere. And so, the $50 billion he spent on the Olympics goes to waste. And Remnick quotes Vladimir Rhyzhkov, a liberal Russian politician, as saying: “It’s quite likely that this will be fatal for the regime and catastrophic for Russia. It just looks as if they have taken leave of their senses.”

Obama and Putin talked for 90 minutes, but all the leverage, for now, belongs with the Russians. Via the New Yorker.

The Institute of Modern Russia live blog of events in the Ukraine.

Michael Hirsh says the Ukraine crisis might define Obama’s legacy – that Putin must be isolated. Via the National Journal.

Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion, via the New Republic.

E.J. Dionne says that the new GOP try at tax reform — which isn’t going anywhere — only points out the Washington disconnect with the real issues. Via the Washington Post.

For you Philip Roth fans, the interview: My life as a writer. Via the New York Times Book Review.

And now from Hollywood: It takes up liberal causes, all right, timidly and often many years after it’s safe. Via New York Times.

[ Photo: Glavnoe.ua ]

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