"A people that values its privileges above its principles, soon loses both!"
We have to go all the way back to Nikita Khrushchev to find a Russian leader as tough as Vlad P! On this side, we have no one on-par, nor on the horizon (either side of the aisle), nor in the UK, nor among any of our NATO allies.
Ukraine and Crimea hold a special place in Russian history and national consciousness. Vlad P grew up in Russia when that nation was respected and feared (pre-Reagan) and longs for a return of those days. He wants to be the national leader to bring them back, in pride and prominence. That is what he is determined to achieve as his historical "legacy."
The stark truth is: recent times haven't demanded the USA to be great, nor demand great national leadership. Oh, but time has a funny way of making us look foolish, eh? And, here we are!
Since politics is "the art of the possible," it appeals only to second-rate minds. First-rate minds are only interested in the impossible. This is why we have brilliant entrepreneurs, but only mediocre politicians. The West doesn't currently have great leadership, and, as noted above, none is on the horizon. We do have, mixed in with the usual "users, boozers, and losers, " at least a few politicians who are hard working and reasonable. But, we are currently at a historical juncture that desperately calls for genuine greatness, maybe even some "unreasonableness!"
Meanwhile, BHO is mostly oblivious, concerned nearly exclusively with trying to build his Administration"s "legacy." In the USA, this is historically done more often in the realm of domestic issues than in international ones. Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, et al are thus way off of the agenda of anyone in the current administration, because they are "getting in the way" of what BHO thinks he needs to do.
So these days, BHO is spending his time naively wishing the whole Crimea/Ukraine affair would just go away.
Vlad P sees that clearly!
"'Difficulty' is an excuse history never accepts"
John S. Farnam