While the recently awakened dormant Russian bear appears content for now having digested the Crimea with barely a burp, Russia's immediate neighbors know all too well that appeasement - which is precisely how the west in its own eyes is viewing Putin's actions even if they will never admit it publicly - never works, most, especially the Baltic states, Finland and not to mention Poland, which was the country that got the raw end of the deal the last time European appeasement failed, are getting increasingly nervous.
So much so that some, in this case Poland, are already preempting the next escalatory steps in what some believe is a hyperbolic attempt to accelerate events so much so that a NATO build up in Eastern Europe forces Russia into a provocative first step so that said neighboring countries can get the backing of NATO instead of them too being sacrificed at the altar of appeasement. Nothing earthshattering here, and all in a day's work when it comes to realpolitik game theory.
So what has Poland in this case done? As the graphic below shows, Polish magazine "Fakt" has laid out the following scenario of just how a Russian invasion would look like, sweeping the Baltics, Belarus, and all of Ukraine, in one offensive wave. Obviously the implication is that Poland would be next.
What next: will this spark nationalist fervor in the potentially targeted countries leading to even further escalation, and more importantly, will NATO indeed proceed with a military build up which will almost certainly provoke Russia into even further action, which it itself would view as defensive and justified in light of "unwarranted" NATO expansion?
Obviously, nobody knows yet, although news earlier today that the US is sending yet another warship into the Black Sea at just a time when the tension over the annexation of Crimea appeared to be boiling over, is hardly the de-escalation signal that is needed to make sure the map above never becomes a reality.