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From Roman Szporluk, Letters to the Editor, The Times Literary Supplement (March 6, 2015, p. 6), under the heading, "Putin's foreign policy"
Sir, - Richard Sakwa (Letters, February 20) is right to say that Vladimir Putin is not attempting to recreate the Soviet Union.Were he doing that he would have kept Crimea in Ukraine: as a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Ukraine included Crimea (from 1954 to 1991) and even Donbass, which on Lenin's insistence had been made part of Soviet Ukraine. Putin's actions today resemble the policies of Catherine II, who annexed the state of Crimea in 1783. Thus, it may be more accurate to say that Putin is attempting to recreate the Russia Empire.