If you have a moment, check out this Times article on the collapse of the Yanukovych government in Ukraine last February, the event that seemed to end one Ukraine crisis but in fact kicked the broader and continuing regional crisis into high gear.
Brittle states, especially once they are held together only by bare force, can and often do come apart very rapidly. There is a strong element of game theory and crowd action in the process - a rush for the exits that can be baffling. It has always been a bit of a mystery exactly how the end came for Yanukovych and why it happened so quickly. The Times article doesn't quite solve that mystery so much as it illustrates that process of rapid government or state collapse - a chain of events that lacks any clear point of origination.
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