Casino

With Mr Putin recognising the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, every limp foghorn in the crass commentariat has been quick to point to the ‘Kremlin playbook’, as if they’re diplomatic svengalis.

Yet, in truth this kind of land-grab is a favoured standby for every regime with a penchant for expansionism. Hitler did it in the Sudetenland and Austria, Turkey did it in Cyprus, Britain did it in Northern Ireland, albeit with a refreshingly unique spin by creatively importing their own bodies and then claiming that partition was the will of the people.

The EU rinse the same ruse, extending their influence under the pretext of ‘shared European values’. The EU is of course more ‘Blackberry Playbook’: heavy, sluggish, and perpetually crashing.

And yet none of the world ‘experts’ on the patch spotted the textbook way to legitimise an invasion was in the offing?

You’ve got to take your hat off to the Russian kingpin though. He and the Belarus geezer just sit there poe-faced with their 70s newsreader comb-overs and wipe the floor with all the Eurofop wets in their £5k suits preaching ‘solid-ar-i-dee’ and a US President with all the strength of half a pint of nun’s-piss shandy.

There will be talk of sanctions – and the UK’s stellar contribution was Flubberbubber memorably lamenting a clear breach of international law. Well, he is after all the expert in the subject.

But Putin won’t care. He’s going to do whatever he wants.

All these world, ahem, leaders dabbling in Ukraine are like mugs on a jaunt to a casino. They’ve convinced themselves they have a system, but in the end he’ll take it all.

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