Putin makes me nervous. Analysis of such material as is available on the internet reveals a macho man with a penchant for politically incorrect observations. Do a search on "Putinisms." Or look for the images of the bare-chested hero riding a horse, which have received rave reviews.
Plus there was the photo of him with his military advisors looking over some sort of scene in the distance. There were three sets of binoculars in view, which had the appearance of having survived WWI.
After thinking about it over the weekend, I bought some SPY Dec 2016 220 puts (NYSEARCA:SPY), enough to offset about half of my discretionary portfolio.
I find it difficult to believe that with Putin at the table, the disputes about Ukraine can be resolved in as conventional way, by diplomacy and compromise. Certainly he has the better hand, from the cards that are visible on the table. I look for him to overplay it.
The deep in the money puts behave very predictably. In the past, I've had some success with short-term bets against the market, closing them with profits, on the general average. I continue bullish for the long term, but I would like to be paid for watching this situation with Putin/Ukraine play itself out.