Putin is devious and duplicitous. He is defining reality to support his illegitimate claims and justify aggression.
The Ukraine is an independent nation. It has been such since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russian speakers who Putin publicly uses as a pretext for annexation are Ukrainian. They are not citizens of Russia. Yet Putin has threatened military action to “protect Russian citizens.”
The agreement by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart to end the crisis was simply a Russian farce. Putin had no intentions of removing his provocateurs or of releasing the seized buildings or acknowledging the integrity of Ukrainian borders.
Europe is frightened to act due to its dependence on Russian gas. The United States can only react with sanctions that appear laughable. Neville Chamberlain confronted similar limitations and fear when confronting Nazi aggression. His capitulation to Adolf Hitler insured the Second World War.
If the U.S. and Europe fail to act ending Russian aggression, Putin will demand more, take more and push the limits until the bombs begin to fall. Therefore Putin is not in question. The question is when courage to act will arise: before or after bloodshed.