We better be damned careful in New Zealand that we don’t offend in any way, new Russian arrivals in NZ, both as tourists or new residents, because if we do, we risk invasion, by Putin’s bullies to ‘protect Russian citizens.’ Hell, if every country took his stance, there would be war all over the word. ---Oops, there is!
Seriously though, the position taken by Putin is a thinly disguised attempt to regain Russian hegemony over the area on his borders and further afield. His efforts to bully his once friendly neighbour, Ukraine, demonstrate this facet of his foreign policy to the max. Does he really think that the world is taking him seriously or is the rest of the world underestimating his ‘skill’ at going to the edge, presenting a terrible scenario; one fraught with danger and the possibility of war; then to turn around and appear more reasonable, gentle as it were and say that, ‘I never intended that,’ but leaving the distinct threat of violence hanging palpably in the air? This is what he has done re the Crimea. NO amount of posturing can disguise this fact.
Putin is a clever bully—he knows that the USA and the EU have no stomach for a war on that continent; so he just steps back from the brink, having achieved all of his goals and then quietly goes on to organize his next plan. I suspect that ‘those plans’ are already well and truly underway. Is Poland next, or the Baltic States, or does he have some sort of grand design re his larger Southern neighbours? Surely not!
It’s OK, Russian citizens, you are most welcome. Hell, some of you may well want to stay and enjoy the freedoms we have here----for now!