Vladimir Putin must be following the sham referendum in east Ukraine with satisfaction and delight. He has outfoxed Barack Obama, John Kerry, Angela Merkel, and the European Union once again. Not only has he escaped sanctions with his “wink and a nod” instructions to the separatist rebels to postpone (not give up) the May 11 election. Putin’s “peace initiative” of May 7 gave his stock market and the rouble a little boost and his plea to the rebels received sympathetic play with the major news services (See, for example Reuters account). On the day of the election, CNN’sreporting went so far as to characterize the rebel’s decision to go ahead with the referendum as “defiance” of Putin.
go to forbes.com