Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's triumphant return to Crimea doesn't signify that things are going well for the country.
"We see him parading around Crimea and we think this is some sign of strength, but right now this is a crisis for both Russia domestic policy and international policy," he said on MSNBC.
He said the economic downturn in Russia could create dissent and conflict among citizens, who expected Mr. Putin to keep the country stable.
"Putin said, 'Listen I'll give you economic stability if you look the other way while I'm taking away your ability to speak freely,' " he said. "As the economy crashes, all of a sudden, people aren't going to be so excited that their political rights are getting taken away."
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