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The Russian invasion and takeover of Crimea has proven to be extremely popular for Vladimir Putin, and has given rise to a new–and somewhat frightening–level of Russian nationalism. While the popularity boost may be temporary: further Russian aggression, exactly the kind that began over the weekend in eastern Ukraine with armed soldiers in identical uniforms without insignia taking over government buildings in a number of cities and towns, is likely to both ultimately fail (recent polls show that even in eastern Ukraine, only about 4% of the public wants to be annexed by Russia) and cause serious damage to Russia’s economy.

50,000 marched in Moscow last month to protest Russia's invasion of Crimea. 50,000 marched in Moscow last month to protest Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Even though apparently popular, support for Putin’s policies has hardly been unanimous. Few realize that 50,000 people protested in Moscow last month against the Crimea takeover, and yesterday 10,000 joined a new protest against both Russia’s…

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