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The empire strikes back - by invitation

Superpower interventions in troubled nations aren't relics of Cold War geostrategy. Establishing spheres of influence continues.

Ukrainians queuing for free bread in early July. Mr Putin argued that a referendum showed the majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

THE diplomatic concept of "Empire by Invitation" reached a high point during the Cold War when the two superpowers (the United States and the Soviet Union) built empires abroad. The concept was infrequently used after that war. Now, it is back in vogue.

New evidence shows that Russia's