A great many experts, observers and pundits are missing the point in their analyses of events in and around Ukraine by making two flawed assumptions. One, that the personal traits and characters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or US President Barack Obama, or both, are the main causes of the momentous developments in and around Ukraine; and two, that Putin is executing a master plan. The reality is something else. International relations are intricate. Decisions made by heads of states are guided by a complex web of domestic and international factors and circumstances. Of course, the person at the top and his or her worldview, leadership qualities and style are key factors in the final determination, but explaining transformative events on the basis of one man’s behaviour and actions is overly simplistic and inevitably will miss the point. More