With this map from the 'Washington Post' anchoring us, it's time to decide which experts have best cut to the quick regarding how Americans should view the developments in Ukraine.
Dmitri Simes provides a good perspective on the U.S. government's response to the crisis: speaking loudly and carrying a small stick.
The best five-minute explanation of the ramifications is given here by Professor Stephen Cohen.
Check out these maps at CNN.
And David Brooks, pulled by a troika of Russian philosophers from a century ago, sets forth some of the ideas now animating the new Russia.
"The world is even smaller today, though… across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God..."
(President Kennedy during his visit to Ireland)