Rudyard Kipling characterized Russia as The Bear That Walks Like A Man. And of course he was right. Russia has never changed. From Ivan the Terrible through Catherine the Great through Stalin to the present day, Russia has played the game of Mediterranean politics in hopes of getting a warm water port, and today that elusive and illusory port is Cyprus. With the bank crisis looming, Russia has offered to bail out the Cyprus banks in return for access to Cyprus as a base for the Russian Mediterranean fleet, presently based in Syria, but possibly not for long. The bear is always on the alert for any advantage against its historical enemy, the West.
In silence walks the Russian bear
A smile upon his lips
A friendly wave, but he is there
Whenever your guard slips