Quite what is Russia's game plan over Ukraine? It seems hard to explain through common sense, so I conduct a thought experiment: what would Putin have to be thinking to believe that a war, with all the consequent and catastrophic political and economic costs, might make sense?
In the second part, I look at some developments in the Russian underworld that suggest that a long nightmare - the prospect of nation-wide mafia wars - might well actually be on the wane.
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