Russian political scientists comment on Crimean Crisis
Commentary from online Russian news outlet gazeta.ru on Crimean crisis…
Gleb Pavlovskii (Fond effektivnoi politiki)… Putin can easily get away with “flag-waving”, using unidentified armed groups, but if he sends in regular military units, the consequences could be catastrophic … for Russia.
Pavlovskii notes the following
1. Sending in regular units would be “pouring gasoline” onto fires of Ukrainian revolution (which Pavlovskii, as many Russians views skeptically). It would invigorate the radicals and end the influence of the old (Ukrainian) parliamentary opposition.
2. Troops would be “targets” of video cameras, etc., and Russian image abroad would be of unmitigated brutality. Russia wouldn’t regain Ukraine, and “Obama would win”.
3. Direct intervention would sow distrust among Russian allies in the Commonwealth of Independent States … Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc.
4. War would lead to split between the Russian regime and the middle class, which does not want to pay for it.
Russia has the right to “protect interests” in Crimea and to repayment of tranches to Ukraine, *but* costs of direct armed intervention would be very, very high
This is all Pavlovskii’s analysis, not mine, but he certainly makes some good points