Russian President Vladimir Putin snatched Crimea to bolster his popularity with the Russian people, many of whom are quite fed up with him ["Ukraine rebels make gains," News, May 1].

In the United States, Republicans declared this a major disaster for the West, blaming it on the weak and vacillating foreign policy of the current administration. Then, President Barack Obama took the bait and got tough. There were, threats, sanctions, meetings canceled and visas denied.

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I hope that our secondary school teachers are using this crisis to illustrate the great influence political posturing has on world history, and to compare it with events that preceded the bloodbath of World War I.

Arthur Bradley, Floral Park