As long as Kiev remains unable to claim full control of Ukrainian territory, Moscow can undermine the legitimacy of a pro-Western government it despises for overthrowing Kremlin-backed authorities earlier this year.
Putin's 'New Russia' Takes Shape In Eastern Ukraine
May 14, 2014

Via AFP:

Fielding questions during a live phone-in last month, President Vladimir Putin described regions of eastern and southern Ukraine as a "New Russia" that could one day return to Moscow's control.

Now that vision is taking shape.

Russia's widely condemned annexation of Crimea in March and Putin's increasing rhetoric about protecting Russian-speakers abroad had raised fears the Kremlin was gearing up to seize new territory.

Those worries were allayed when Russian troops failed to pour over the border after separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk said weekend referendums...

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