As a new military campaign appears to be getting under way in eastern Ukraine, that’s an important question. To answer it, Putin could do worse than to stop by for tea at the Makarov household in Mariupol, the region’s main port and industrial center — now threatened with attack.

Alexander Makarov is an ethnic Russian, proud that he can trace his family’s roots to 16th century Russian chronicles. At the start of the crisis in Ukraine, he, like many people in this city, was hostile to the revolution in Kiev. He argued repeatedly about it with his daughter, Katerina, with whom he shares an apartment. He hung a Russian flag on his bedroom wall and she put a Ukrainian one on hers. (Katrina’s confused seven-year-old daughter asked which should go on her wall.)

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