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Russia’s rapid takeover and absorption of Crimea is, in Malcolm Gladwell’s terms, a truly historic “Tipping Point” for the post-Cold War world. For the first time in more than a quarter century — since the Soviet Red Army’s evacuation of Afghanistan in 1987 — a long tide of Russian retreat, shrinkage and national disintegration has been reversed.

It appears very likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin, emboldened by the success of this move, will not stop there. He nurses major historical frustrations that are widely shared among the Russian people.

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