Erik Brattberg, resident fellow for the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, is quoted in The Hill:

The Russian president’s objective is clear. He wants to reassert Russia’s influence in Eastern Europe while preventing NATO’s further expansion toward Russia, said Erik Brattberg, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Diplomatic fights over Syria in 2013 and Russian’s military clash with Georgia in 2008 have given Putin confidence in the current fight over Russia’s invasion of Crimea, a region in eastern Ukraine with long ties to Moscow.

“He’s counting that there would be no significant response from the U.S. and the European Union and so far he’s been right,” Brattberg said.

Read the full article here.