TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: ap_452c142893e9a30a4e0f6a7067009ede
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with Russian athletes, winners of the cross country 4x2.5km open relay at the 2014 Winter Paralympics, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Putin has been building up his good will. He's telling his people - 'I delivered the Olympics - and I took over another country!' (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Politics, Russian style

They didn't invade anybody, they're just providing security so that the people of the Crimea can determine their own destiny through that most democratic of processes, a referendum.

And the voters seem to be happy.

Here's one happy voter saying, "We want to go home."

Even the interpreter seems infected by the optimism. "I am for Russia. It's so nice in Russia, and Putin is a good man.

Here's another one who speaks English, "People in Crimea we think us as Russian people," she said.

All of which according to CBS's Elizabeth Palmer, points to an inconvenient reality. "A majority of Crimeans have a deep ties to Russia. They have been corrupted and abused by a corrupt and cynical Ukrainian government for two decades now - and they're fed up. They genuinely believe that Russia will offer them a better future."

So even though the referendum is at the point of a Kalashnikov, and even though it's illegal, and even though the electorate has been bathed in pro-Russian propaganda, this appears to be what the majority wants.

And here's another inconvenient reality - this invasion has pushed Putin's approval rating to 71.6%. I've heard people saying "Why would he throw away all the good will from the Olympics?"

But it's just he opposite! He's building on it. He's telling his people - 'I delivered the Olympics - and I took over another country!'

Putin is a politician doing what's popular. What else is he gonna do - promise guaranteed health care? Russia already has guaranteed health care. Anyway we know what that does for a President's approval rating.

More from Crimea:
Crimea declares independence, seizes property

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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