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(CNN) – It will be difficult, if not impossible for the pro-Russian rebels to win the war in Ukraine without more of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's help.
And with 20,000 troops standing at the ready, the big question is: Will Putin ramp up direct involvement in the war, or will he blink?
New Republic editor Julia Ioffe penned a piece titled "Vladimir Putin Might Fall. We Should Consider What Happens Next."
Is this the kind of man that's ever willing to back down?
Yes, says Ioffe, but "he has to do it on his own terms, on his own timeline, he can't ever be seen, you know in his mind, to be succumbing to pressure," said Ioffe.
"The more we press him, the more he is going to resist," she said.
For more of our interview with the New Republic's Julia Ioffe, check out the video above.