For Mr. Putin, the fate of Ukraine is an existential matter, vital to his drive to rebuilt Russia's global influence by building a block of former-Soviet neighbours led fro Moscow.
You know what I would do, if I was functionally-fixed on strength, supremacy absolute authority like Put is, and facing reproach from Europe? I'd make sure they have other concerns to worry about - like Jobbik and Golden Dawn. Maybe boost North Korea to be a threat to the Rest of the West's eastern flank.
Whatever it takes to win, right?
Then I could get back to the business of solving the problems that get in the way of growing the Russian population - like gays, for instance.
But back to the Olympics.