“Looks like Putin is on to phase two of Cold War II. Reports from eastern Ukraine indicate that Putin is following the Crimea model, stirring up fake protests to pave the way for a Russian invasion. Covert Russian operatives whipped up mobs in the eastern cities of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk over the weekend with some of the “protestors” seizing government buildings. Putin is likely timing this to preempt Ukrainian elections scheduled for late May. If he feels so emboldened by the tepid response to his theft of Crimea, Russian tanks may be gearing up to roll into eastern Ukraine. Clearly, the soft-handed sanctions and travel bans have not changed Putin’s calculus. The U.S. and our European allies must hold the line with Ukraine and send a clear message to Putin that he will not be allowed to illegally seize more sovereign territory.”