The Russian Godfather: A View from Poland

This pool picture provided 03 September 2007 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin carrying a hunting rifle in the Republic
This pool picture provided 03 September 2007 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin carrying a hunting rifle in the Republic of Tuva, 15 August 2007. Putin is scheduled to visit Australia for the ASEAN conference starting this week. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL / DMITRY ASTAKHOV (Photo credit should read DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)

From Project Syndicate

Adam Michnik was one of the leaders of Solidarity and the founding editor of Gazeta Wyborcza.

WARSAW -- In invading, occupying and finally annexing Crimea, Vladimir Putin pointed Russia's guns at Ukraine and said: your territorial sovereignty or your life. So far, extortion has worked -- and Putin knows it. Indeed, in his speech announcing the annexation of Crimea, Putin spoke his mind: his regime fears no punishment and will do whatever it pleases. Crimea is just the first step toward realizing his dream of revived Russian greatness.

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