If you are wondering what is going on with Russia, the Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, have two reads for you.
First read is an excellent read that ties together a lot of information. HT to Amy Poindexter (non-blogger) for this one. We’ve talked about the buffers and how Russia (Putin) views the NGOs and NATO expansion before, and this lays out the case very well. Keep in mind Vladimir and the leaders of Belarus and other Collective Security Treaty Organization are desperate and scared. This is not the basis for good decision making. Oh, and if you are not familiar with NED, this read gives some pretty good info.
The second read is sadly one dimensional, but still worth a read for more detail on terrain and buffer zones.
The situation has not improved since the last time we discussed it here. In fact, it has gotten worse. Also, keep in mind that Putin has absolutely no trust in the current administration. That’s because of things that happened in the Obama administration (of which the current is take two with quite a few of the same players) that led to a perception by Putin of betrayal/lying/etc. This was made even worse by a major blunder by the W administration that only amplified the distrust.
Take a read, keep your eyes open, and find non-US news sources to keep an eye on both what happens in Kazakhstan and the Ukraine. Whatever happens is going to have far reaching consequences.