A well-balanced review of history that has led Russia and the West to the current confrontation: http://www.ecfr.eu/content/entry/commentary_the_origins_of_russias_new_conflict_with_the_west330
"In Putin’s world national “sovereignty” is a central principle – but just a few countries can claim sovereignty and, therefore, have the right to a sphere of influence. Russia is one of those chosen few – historically, and because Putin stands ready to fight for his nation’s sovereignty in a world where Might means Right."
"In the twenty-first century, the West responded, all nations are equal and each country is sovereign. This sounds like a wonderful world – except that this does not seem to be the world of the US-led policy of humanitarian intervention, peace enforcement, taking sides in other nations’ domestic conflicts, and killing the forces for evil on behalf of the forces for good. Putin saw this as an argument that his world of Might means Right was real: America could pursue such policies because it was powerful and sovereign."
"The current confrontation between Russia and the West is a move back to a cold war design: Russia as “another world” isolated by the US-led West. Russia’s world today is limited to just itself with no socialist camp around it, and the West has the potential of pushing Russia deeper into a crisis, both economic and political. Unlike the Soviet meltdown that had numerous internal causes, but is blamed on the West by Russian conspiracy theorists, this crisis will truly be precipitated by the West."