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Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in St. Petersburg.

Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin via REUTERS

Russian revenge vs. Ukrainian resolve

Vladimir Putin responded on Monday to Kyiv's (alleged) involvement in blowing up part of the only bridge connecting Crimea to Russia by unleashing fire and fury against Ukrainian cities.

Although some feared that attacking Crimea would push Putin to go nuclear, his retaliation was swift but conventional — and somewhat measured in terms of the actual damage done by an aggressor capable of wanton bloodshed. Also, Russia’s president blamed the blast on Ukrainian "terrorism," not the West, which means he doesn’t want to pick a direct fight with NATO.

How did we get here? Will it be a turning point in the war? And what might Putin do next?

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