Paying Attention:The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics were not even a week complete when the dreary, scary, frustrating, demoralizing reality of international geopolitics reared its’ ugly head again, as Russia decided that–games over, competitors gone, happy closing finished–it was time to set the record straight about who controls what in the Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula and moved, quickly and demonstrably to take control, first in Crimea, where it has a major naval base, and then to re-assert its’ influence/control over the Ukraine, a former USSR state that was having decidedly pro-western, European Union, and–shudder–NATO tendencies. And so, here we are again, the West and the East at odds, another Cold War brewing. Russia cares little about squandering the goodwill that it created–or forcibly projected–during the Winter Games. They’re playing a different game now, one of territorial re-accession. Some great background on the Ukraine situation–should you want to go deeper into it–can be found at Bloomberg, in Professor Stephen Carter of Yale’s excellent piece. Deep background for the piece–and a very short but precise overview of how Ukraine went from being the third largest nuclear power in the world to nuclear disarmament–can be found in this paper by Robert S. Mathers, presented as part of an economics course requirement at Harvard and referenced in the Bloomberg column. All of this is heady but necessary information if you want more than a sound-bite view of what’s actually happening in the Ukraine. One thing is clear after last week’s military movements in and around Ukraine: the gloves are off and the games are over.