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The Debate

Moscow's Mixed Messages: What Does Putin Really Want? (part 2)

In the end, hopes of a Ukraine de-escalation lasted less than 24 hours. Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine have rejected the Russian president's surprise call for a postponement of this coming Sunday's Crimea-style referendum on autonomy. But why this olive branch from Putin to the West? Was it the visiting Swiss president's persuasive manner, the spectre of more Western sanctions, or does it all fit into a broader Kremlin plan?

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