This cartoon by Adams from The Telegraph relates to the ongoing crisis in Crimea, where 97 percent of voters have supported leaving Ukraine to join Russia in Sunday's referendum. The Crimean peninsula has been controlled for two weeks now by troops under apparent Russian command. The referendum was widely condemned by Western leaders who were planning to discuss economic sanctions to punish Russia on Monday. Ukraine's new government in Kiev called the referendum a "circus" directed at gunpoint by Moscow. Read more >>
Russian President Vladimir Putin is portrayed as a giant bear sitting on Crimea (the Russian bear is a widespread symbol for Russia). Meanwhile, Western leaders (Obama, Hollande, Merkel, and Hague) dressed as circus trainers are trying to get the bear to move using chairs and whips. However, their efforts are useless given the size of the bear compared to them.
The message seems to be that it will take a lot more than the feeble threat of sanctions to get Russia to move from Crimea.
Bear-baiting is a blood sport involving the worrying or tormenting (baiting) of bears. Here, of course, the term is used ironically since it is the bear which is doing the tormenting.