The big news of the day is the downing of a Russian jet fighter flying in support of Assad's Syria against anti-Assad forces by the Turkish Air Force. And there is little Russian leader Putin can do about it.
Back in 2014, under Putin, the Russians annexed Crimea after Crimeans declared their independence through referendum. Ukrainians have a history of declaring independence through referendum (see: REFERENDUMS ARE THE UKRAINIAN WAY! MAYBE IT'S TIME FOR REFERENDUMS FOR THOSE IN THE FAR WEST OF UKRAINE TO RETURN TO POLAND.). Putin wanted the military seaport at Sevastopol, Crimea and the Crimeans deliver it to him.
Bosphorus (Instanbul Strait) and the Dardanelles (Hellespont; Çanakkale Strait), as well as the Sea of Marmara that sits between these straits.
Both straits are known as the Turkish Straits for good reason. Along with the Sea of Marmara, the straits are part of Turkish territorial waters.
Russia’s Black Sea commercial ports carry 30% of Russian total maritime exports. If Russians want to stay viable commercially, they cannot retaliate against the Turks. Sure, they could cut off natural gas supplies to the Turks, but then the Turks could cut off shipping access to the Russians.
Putin and his team have crafted an image for Putin as the last rugged man, a kind of James Bond as political leader. Putin often gets photographed shirtless. It looks like it is over for the rogue agent of Russia.
The Russians cannot retaliate against the Turks at all. If Russians do, the Turks can block the Turkish straits and thus 30% of all Russian ship borne exports. And if Russians attack a NATO ally, the Danes can block the Danish straits.
The Russians have been put in a straitjacket as it were.
The best bet for ordinary Russians is for them to rise up against the ex-KGB and Russian mafia controlled Russian government. If true democratic government can come to Russia, American political elite should strive to make Russians the number one allies of Americans.