well, i think putin is being a 'useful idiot' for china, which will ruthlessly march into siberia when the time is ripe. (what do they have to lose if there is war? 30 million, warlike, uncontrollable, testosterone-crazed, woman-less men. this is the best way to get rid of them and at the same time gain some lebensraum. and russia simply doesn't have enough men. they are dying at a young age of alcoholism, and russian women are refusing to marry these drunken sods. their population is collapsing).
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3d9d513a-eb3c-11e3-bab6-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=crm/email/201466/nbe/Comment/product&siteedition=intl#axzz33ppq4xLRthis is their working assumption: that the US and esp europe are in decline. and that they can get away with anything. there is an element of truth to this. obama is acting increasingly like a lame-duck wimp. and merkel is too cautious (and probably not well-armed enough) to get into a fight.
putin reminds me of nehru and his 'useful idiot' status for chou en-lai.
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity