This is pretty good. I like it. I don’t think it’s all of it, but it definitely has the ring of truth. Besides, Putin is ex-KGB Soviet, and the USSR was all about the vassal state thing. So you’ve got to believe he’d be happy with an obedient vassal Ukraine, looking a pretty and democratic-like to the world, while he can give a twitch here and there to the vssal president’s you-know-whats whenever Russia had need of his obedience. Gotta love efficiency.
Russia much prefers a strong Ukrainian President to a weak and indecisive one. Putin has had a good working relationship with opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko when she served before as Ukraine’s Prime Minister. Of all the Ukrainian presidential candidates who are running, Moscow would prefer to see her elected since she recognizes the necessity of being on good terms with Russia.