'Vladimir Putin is a hardline Russian nationalist. He has said quite openly that he will protect the interests of his people. And of course, Crimea, as you know, is ethnically majority Russian and linguistically vast majority Russian. So it is on that basis and on that pretext that he has gone in,' says James Nixey.
'I hope that the honouring of him at Westminster Abbey reflects just how global and important he is. South Africans should not lose that vision, that South Africa's new leadership post Mandela should reconnect with those values because that’s what makes South Africa truly special and unique,' said Alex Vines.
'Since 2004 and 2005 you've had campaigns that haven't been holistic or coordinated. Often they just look like a facade with people firing mortars at empty mountainsides because the insurgents have moved on to the next tribal area, ready to return when the army leaves,' said Gareth Price.
James Sherr said Moscow had crossed a line by reinforcing its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea and allowing Russian forces outside their designated bases in Sevastopol.