As world leaders and diplomats rushed to Kiev in an attempt to stabilize the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine following the invasion of the Crimean Peninsula by Russian forces Sunday, Putin has demonstrated surprisingly limited intent to push further into sovereign Ukrainian territory, alleviating the fears of many.

Slamming Western powers for “backing what he called an ‘armed seizure of power’ in Ukraine…Putin emphasized that he saw no immediate need for Russian military intervention [in Ukraine]…describing military force as a ‘last resort’.”

This is the one of the first statements made by Putin following several days of international distress and concerned dialogue, emanating primarily from former Soviet bloc nations fearing the onslaught of aggressive military posturing reminiscent of the Cold War era.

A Fighting Chance

By demonstrating limited intent to aggress further into Ukraine after seizing the Peninsula, Putin has rather effectively solidified Russia’s position as a more global power. Whereas previous years have seen Russia struggle to regain what financial, economic, and military power remained following the collapse of the Soviet Union, recent events have aptly announced the arrival of a stronger, more capable Motherland—a Russia that can exert calculated control over its geopolitical interests, expand its sphere of influence in Eurasia, and hold the majority of Western Europe and its institutions at bay.