Putin today said in a speech in St Petersburg, that the west wanted to cut Russia up into different pieces.
Interesting. First, this is simply what Putin wants to do with Ukriane. And secondly, this seems to be the deep seated fear in the Kremlin ever since Iwan the Terrible conquered the neigbouring Khanate of Kasan with a Muslim population, that "Russia" will fragment again (or be forced to return to its "pre-Kasan" borders) after such an imperial conquest. And then centuries of imperial conquests followed, but still the Kremlin seems to be terrified by the idea of losing Kasan, of getting cut up -- just as Putin said today.