In the Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone. Russia had lost its border with Iran, Turkey and the Middle East.
As Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan departed, Russia lost half its border with China. Rather than dominating the Caspian Sea, Russia is now confined to its far northern shore. Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan all now have claims on Caspian Sea oil.
Came then the eastward march of NATO to Moscow's front door.
As NATO allies Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia occupy the east coast of the Baltic Sea, NATO allies Rumania and Bulgaria occupy the west coast of the Black Sea. Turkey sits on the south coast of the Black Sea, aspiring NATO ally Georgia the east coast. Should Ukraine join NATO, as John McCain seeks, the Black Sea becomes a NATO lake.
When Putin defended the seizure of Crimea by saying he did not want to visit Russia's two-century-old naval base at Sevastopol, and be greeted by NATO sailors, did he not have a point?
The vast territorial losses suffered by the Soviet Union would be like the amputations America would have endured had the secession of the 11 states of the Confederacy succeeded in 1865.
Our situation would be comparable to Russia's if we had lost all our states on the South Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and our ports of Norfolk, Charleston and New Orleans all flew foreign flags.
And how would we have reacted if a Soviet Union, victorious in the Cold War, effected the expulsion of all U.S. troops and bases from Europe and brought Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua into the Warsaw Pact?
State's Victoria Nuland says we invested $5 billion in re-orienting Ukraine away from Russia. How would we respond if we awoke -- as Putin did in February -- to learn a pro-American government in Mexico City had been overthrown by street mobs financed by Beijing, a pro-China regime installed, and this unelected Mexican regime wanted out of NAFTA in favor of joining an economic union and military alliance with China?
A U.S. president who landed Marines in Veracruz, as Wilson did in 1914, and sent a 21st-century General "Black Jack" Pershing with an army across the border, would be over 70 percent in the polls, as Putin is today.
And if he seized Baja, as Putin seized Crimea, it would be a cakewalk to a second term.