Putin faces a Pyrrhic victory in Crimea vote
Democracy The traffic out of the old Soviet Union has been one way for many years, but if Putin has his way, Crimea will be on a return ticket back to Russia.
Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, 12 former Eastern Bloc countries have joined the European Union. It has been one-way traffic to the West.
Over most of that period, Vladimir Putin's reign has seen Russia move from being described as a "super power" to an "emerging market". If Russia was a practicing democracy, Putin would have been tossed out long ago.
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