Putin is trying to burnish his credentials as an international tough guy in Syria, fighting ISIS, or at least appearing to do so. In reality, he seems to be directing bombs against dictator Bashar al-Assad's beleaguered opposition these days. He's doing it, because that's just about all he can do these days.
Whether this ceasefire or some future one proves durable, Ukraine must eventually make some very difficult decisions concerning its future. Above all, it must figure out a way of exiting the steel trap that has clamped down on its nether regions. The Crimean peninsula has already been sliced off. Should Ukraine sever another one of its own limbs in order to survive?
After the Cold War, the American self-image became that of the "sole superpower." We were the only 800-pound gorilla in the world, and therefore we could do what we pleased without having to worry about any other country's ability to stop us. Russia, under Putin, is reasserting itself as the second weighty gorilla in the room.
On Thursday the United Nations recognized South Sudan as its 193rd member state, turning the country officially into the world's youngest nation. And ...