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Anyone who believes that foreign policy choices come down to Manichean choices between good and evil need look no further than the Ukraine crisis.Historically, President Vladimir Putin is by no means the first Russian leader to confront such a choice.Russia does need to resolve its own centuries-long tensions concerning its relationship with the West – tensions that continue to define its leaders' conception of national identity and interest.Ironically, a Russia that wants to determine Ukraine's future could find that it is Ukraine – or at least its crisis – that defines Russia's future.Yes, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ceded Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 (to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, which unified Ukraine and Russia), and, yes, Boris Yeltsin confirmed Crimea's status during a period of fraught negotiations to dissolve the Soviet Union and secure Russia's own statehood.The future of Ukraine – and of Russia – is not a game that any U.S. leader can win or lose.The West has no choice but to impose sanctions on Putin's Russia, and they will now come fast and furious.
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